How To Give a Croque Monsieur a Sex Change

The things you learn when you travel, simple things. Nothing that will shake up the world but little snippets that make you exclaim ‘jings crivens, I didn’t know that’. The jings crivens bit is maybe just me and I hold Oor Wullie to blame for it. If you’re bamboozled by now don’t worry about it, if you’re not then you’re probably Scottish.

Take the humble croque-monsieur, the French name for a cheese and ham toastie with aspirations. Just about everyone is familiar with the croque-monsieur – a griddled or toasted sandwich consisting of French ham, Gruyere cheese and bechamel sauce. It’s a nice little Parisian snack.

What I didn’t know until we spent a few hours in Montparnasse in Paris was the croque-monsieur can have its sex changed by the flip of a fish slice. Slip a fried egg on top and it apparently becomes a croque-madame.

Croque Madame, Le Tournesol, Montparnasse, Paris, France

Some say the reason is that a fried egg looks like a lady’s hat from the early 20th century when both his and her versions appeared.

Don’t tell the Parisians, but I prefer the over the top and magnificently messy Porto take on the croque-monsieur, the francesinha.

Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+

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