National Cordon Bleu Day Date in the current year: April 4, 2024

National Cordon Bleu Day April 4 is National Cordon Bleu Day. Although many people think that this dish was developed by Le Cordon Bleu, the world’s largest school network of culinary and hospitality schools that teach gourmet French cuisine, it actually originated in Switzerland and was popularized in the United States.

The term cordon bleu is translated from French as “blue ribbon”. It was originally associated with the Order of the Holy Spirit (Ordre du Saint-Esprit), an order of chivalry founded by King Henry III of France in 1578. Members of the order wore their badges on a light blue silk ribbon that has come to be synonymous with excellence.

In the late 19th century, the name was adopted by the culinary magazine La Cuisinière Cordon Bleu. To broaden and engage its audience, the magazine offered cooking classes that eventually evolved into the famous cooking school. Because of this, the term “cordon bleu” became firmly associated with high standards in cooking. Schnitzel cordon bleu was probably named with this association in mind, but it wasn’t developed at Le Cordon Bleu.

A schnitzel cordon bleu, commonly referred to as simply cordon bleu, is a cutlet stuffed with cheese and sometimes also ham, breaded, and deep-fried or pan fried. It can be made of veal, pork, or chicken breast.

Cheese-filled schnitzels are believed to have originated in the Swiss town of Brig-Glis around the 1940s; the first recorded mention of the dish can be found in a 1949 cookbook. A “chicken cordon bleu” was first mentioned in a 1967 issue of The New York Times, although similar recipes of a veal schnitzel filled with cheese can be found dating back to 1955.

There are many cordon bleu variations, and neither of them is “the right one”. Some involve meat pounded thin and then wrapped around a slice of cheese and a slice of ham. Another popular way to prepare this schnitzel is to butterfly a piece of meat (typically a chicken breast) and place a thin slice of cheese and a slice of ham inside. The meat is then rolled, coated in bread crumbs, and fried or baked. Some recipes omit the bread crumbs, involve the ham being wrapped around the meat, or substitute bacon for ham.

There are dishes similar to cordon bleu in some national and regional cuisines. For example, a dish named cachopo is popular in the Asturias region of Spain. It consists of two large pieces of veal with cheese and ham between them. The stuffed meat is breaded in eggs and bread crumbs, fried, and served with peppers, potatoes, or mushrooms.

Milanesa rellena is a variation of cordon bleu popular in Argentina and Uruguay. It consists of two chicken or beef fillets coated in beaten egg. They are stuffed with mozzarella cheese and cooked ham, breaded in eggs and bread crumbs, and then baked or fried.

The best way to celebrate National Cordon Bleu Day is to treat yourself to this delicious schnitzel. You can cook it yourself, go out to a restaurant that serves cordon bleu, or order in. Just don’t forget that any meal tastes better when shared with friends.

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