National Monte Cristo Day
annually on September 17th (since 2015)
Bennigan's in June 2015
Today we celebrate and indulge in Monte Cristo sandwiches, which are fried and usually made with Swiss cheese and ham. Other types of cheese can be used, and sliced turkey or chicken are sometimes added as well. The sandwich is usually dipped in egg batter before being pan-fried or deep-fried until it is golden brown. It can also be grilled or made open-faced, by being heated under a grill or broiler. They are usually savory, not sweet, but can be sprinkled with powdered sugar, and can be served with maple syrup, jams, or preserves.
It is believed the Monte Cristo sandwich was first served in 1910, at a café on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. Indeed, it is even quite similar to a French sandwich called a croque-monsieur. The Monte Cristo appeared in many American cookbooks in the 1930s through the 1960s, where it also went by names such as the French Sandwich, Toasted Ham Sandwich, and French Toasted Cheese Sandwich. They particularly rose in popularity in the 1950s. National Monte Cristo Day was started by Bennigan's, a restaurant which is known for their Monte Cristo sandwiches.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by eating Monte Cristo sandwiches. There are many types you could make. One of the most famous recipes appeared in the Brown Derby restaurant cookbook in 1949. You could also have one of the sandwiches at a restaurant, such as Bennigan's, the creators of today's holiday. Make sure to take photos of your sandwiches and share them on social media.