A slice of ham and cheese sandwiched in a chicken or turkey breast or veal cutlet, then breaded and fried or baked in the oven is a Cordon bleu. Some say ‘blue cord’ refers to the string that Swiss Italian cooks once used to tie it all together, so it would be very visible and easy to remove once the dish was finished.
Other say it’s so delicious it had to be cordon bleu...
The Chevaliers de l'Ordre du Saint-Esprit, a knightly order founded in 1578 by Henri III, were nicknamed the ‘Cordon Bleus’ after the pale blue ribbons or sashes that held their Maltese cross medals. Whenever they gathered together the chevaliers dined on such magnificent banquets that gourmet cooking became known as the cuisine cordon bleu.
Cordon Bleu is also the name of the famous culinary institute founded in Paris in 1895, now with branches in 20 countries around the world.
Images by Jean-Baptiste Paulin Guérin , TheCulinaryGeek