Vendredi Vocab: Croque Monsieur

Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu.

This week, we will delve into: Croque Monsieur

A croque monsieur is a sandwich filled with ham and cheese, traditionally either dipped in egg batter or battered on the outside, and toasted or grilled. Quite literally, in French, “croque monsieur” translates to “mister crunch.”

Based on the verb croquer, meaning, “to bite” or “to crunch,” the croque monsieur is a true staple of simple French cuisine. Though its origins are uncertain, one story suggests that the sandwich came about simply when French workers left their lunch pails too close to a hot radiator, melting the cheese and toasting the bread of their sandwiches. Another story suggests that the dish came about in 1901 at a Paris brasserie, where a lack of baguettes (the horror!) resulted in the use of pain de mie (similar to American white sandwich bread, or brioche), baked to achieve the crustiness of a baguette, with ham and cheese. The quick bite was first officially referred to by name on a Paris cafe menu in 1910.

In the 1960’s, the Croque Madame came about, by adding a poached or lightly fried egg to the sandwich. The name came about as the egg is said to resemble a woman’s hat.

Image via TripAdvisor

The croque monsieur is a staple at the girl & the fig, as it is a staple in simple French cuisine. Our croque monsieur is made up with apple-wood smoked ham & St. George cheese, which is sourced locally, made from cow’s milk, and has a slight tang and almost buttery texture. The bread is soaked in eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper, browned in a pan with the ham and cheese, and baked until the cheese is melted. Add a farm egg to try a croque madame, and enjoy your sandwich with a quinoa and green salad. When made at home, we suggest enjoying with our Red Onion Confit. Come in and join us to experience a true French staple!


Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu. We love food, we love words, and we love to learn something new. We also love Fridays.

Happy Vendredi, everyone!

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