April 4 is National Cordon Bleu Day
Interesting Food Facts about Cordon Bleu
- The phrase “Cordon Bleu” means “Blue Ribbon” when referring to the dish.
- Another use of the phrase “Cordon Bleu” comes from a distinguished order of sixteenth-century French knights, who apparently wore blue sashes and were therefore popularly referred to as the “Cordon-bleus.”
- Cordon Bleu is a thinly pounded piece of meat (most often chicken, but also veal or pork) stuffed with ham and cheese, then breaded and fried.
- Chicken Cordon Bleu is a relatively recent American creation, first found mentioned in the written word in 1967.
- Common variations on this recipe include baking instead of frying, skipping the breading, and switching the order of the meats.
The dish did not originate at any of the prestigious Cordon Bleu cooking schools of Europe as often thought. It is not exactly clear who was the first person to prepare and name the dish chicken cordon bleu.
There are many regional dishes from Europe that share characteristics with Chicken Cordon Bleu. Some of the countries that include roulades, or roll ups of meat, in their cuisine are Germany, France and Italy.
In largely Muslim-populated countries, the halal versions of chicken cordon bleu are also popular, but to cater to the halal requirement for the Muslims, the chicken is rolled around a beef instead of a pork product.
Today’s Food History
- 1828 Casparus van Wooden of Amsterdam, patented chocolate milk powder.
- 1871 Mary Florence Potts of Ottumwa, Iowa patented the ‘Mrs. Potts’ pressing iron. It had a detachable handle so several iron bodies could be heated and used in turn as one cooled down.
- 1883 Peter Cooper died. American inventor and founder of the ‘Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.’ He also obtained the first American patent for the manufacture of gelatin. In 1895, a cough syrup manufacturer, Pearl B. Wait purchased the patent and developed a packaged gelatin dessert. Wait’s wife, May David Wait named it Jell-O.
- 1884 Adolphe Duglere died. A pupil of Careme, head chef of the Rothschild family, and head chef of the famous 19th century Paris restaurant, the Cafe Anglais.
- 1887 William Cumming Rose was born. An American biochemist, he researched amino acids, and established the importance of the 8 essential amino acids in human nutrition.
- 1893 Alphonse Pyrame de Candolle died. A Swiss botanist, author of ‘Origin of Cultivated Plants.’
- 1899Benjamin F. Jackson patented a gas burner.
- 1932 Vitamin C is first isolated by C.G. King at the University of Pittsburgh.
- 1998 A locust plague in Ethiopia was reported that covered almost 4,000 acres