Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I've been curious about the croque-monsieur since the 9th grade and M. Foulkrod's French class.  Jean-Claude, Pierre, and Marie were always dashing about, inquiring after each others health and inviting each other out to lunches that frequently included the mysterious croque-monsieur.

Today I was wandering about Chalon-sur-Saone and I paused outside an random bakery.  Inside they were selling croque-monsieurs.  And, one of my goals here in France has been to find and eat a croque-monsieur.  So, score!

I had a general vague idea that the croque-monsieur is like a grilled cheese sandwich with some ham thrown in too.  I definitely did not expect it to be covered in cheese too.

Unlike America, where the best grilled cheese doesn't even contain real cheese (here's looking at you, Kraft Singles), the croque-monsieur contained at least two cheeses, both of which were very unique and neither of which I could identify.

The interior of the croque-monsieur: ham and more cheese, this time a creamier cheese.  It could even be the same cheese as is on top, only not toasted.  I'm American, what do I know about these things?  Nothing, that's what.

I'm thinking that a really good croque-monsieur would contain the requisite ham, but instead use a nice sharp Vermont cheddar, a la cheese toast.

This looks like a 1970's nightmare: the dull green, the woven brown background, the bad lighting.  But really, it is a yummy pistachio custard in a little glass jar!  I bought some at a supermarket the other day.  I really like foodstuffs in glass: go Brockway, even thought this glass was not made there!  Woo!


meu102 said...

Somehow this post makes it seem as if you have gotten over your dislike of cheese.

Lea also suggests that you eat a French chicken. She says that Julia Childs raved about French chickens... and some bread. And take every opportunity of enjoying yourself.

Anonymous said...

The French grilled cheese and ham looks pretty tasty. They probably put it under a broiler or something to achieve the toasted look. Just guessing, not sure, I am also American!