This holiday is to celebrate a familiar dish that many of us actually know very little about. Cordon Bleu day is celebrated annually on April Fourth. This dish is typically prepared as a piece of chicken with ham stuffed inside. Cheese is wrapped around the chicken and ham and the entire thing is breaded and fried. The earliest recipe of this dish was recorded in 1964 in Cincinnati. Despite having a strong French background, this dish is American in origin. In French the dish translates to “Blue Ribbon”. This has the same meaning that it would have in any competition in that this is a first place dish. This dish has multiple variations across cultures. In cultures where pork is forbidden the ham is replaced with beef. In Switzerland there is a variation called the schnitzel cordon bleu. The main difference with this dish is that it is two pieces of schnitzel tied together with ham and cheese in the middle. Hungary has a variation of this dish as well in which veal is rolled with ham and cheese inside of it. This dish is commonly served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
History of the Word Cordon Bleu
The word Cordon Bleu has a variety of meanings besides the dish. The phrase is often used to describe something of high quality, particularly cooking. As mentioned before, cordon bleu directly translates to blue ribbon. The blue ribbon designated the highest order of chivalry under the French Bourbon kings. It has since been used to designate other items and people of high status. The first reference to cordon bleu can be seen as early as 1727 in reference to an excellent chef. In 1827 a cookbook entitled Le Cordon bleu ou nouvelle cuisinière bourgeoise was published in Paris. In 1895 a newsletter called La Cuisinière Cordon-bleu was published weekly. Cordon Bleu cooking classes soon began afterwards and created some of the greatest chefs we have ever seen.
Make Your Own!
The easiest way to celebrate this holiday is to cook your own cordon bleu. This dish is very easy to make and share with others in celebration of this special day!