Why do I like a Croque Monsieur so much and insist on having one each time I am in France? Is it simply a glorified toasted cheese and ham sandwich or much more? I have had some marvellous Croques over the years but I have also endured some dire ones!

What constitutes a good Croque, in my opinion? Surprisingly, the bread is generally from a white sandwich loaf, pain de mie, and the cheese is either Gruyere or Emmental. However, the main difference, for me, is that the sandwich is usually topped with a béchamel sauce and the crusts removed.

Should you need a recipe, here are a few to try:

From Delia: www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/european/french/croque-monsieur.html

Rachel Koo has a variation with Croque Madame Muffins from her Little Paris Kitchen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muRLOLmkEjc

Nigella also has a different take with her Croque Monsieur Bake: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/croque-monsieur-bake-33 I haven’t tried this yet but I do appreciate the fact that it can be assembled the night before! Wonderful for brunch…

I also enjoy a Croque Madame which simply involves putting a fried egg on top of your Croque Monsieur.

Whenever I have a Croque Monsieur in the UK, I’m transported to a café, in France, watching the world go by. In fact, the rather dodgy photo was taken in a café in our village, recently. My lovely sister was visiting and she said that she fancied ‘Welsh Rarebit’. Possibly the Welsh version of a Croque? The rarebit wasn’t available, so we settled for a Croque. Mine was so tasty that I had already had a large bite before I remembered to take a photo!photo (2)

Are you a Croque fan or do you have other snacks that you prefer when in France?