1910 – Most food historian generally think that the Monte Cristo sandwich is a variation of a French dish called Croque Monsieur. This original grilled cheese sandwich consisted of Gruyere cheese and lean ham between two slices of crust-less bread, fried in clarified butter. It was originally served in 1910 in a Paris cafe.
This sandwich is still a popular snack or casual meal throughout France and Switzerland in most bars and cafes. It is usually made in a special sandwich grilling iron consisting of two hinged metal plates, each with two shell-shaped indentations. At most Paris cafes, the Croque Monsieur is no longer prepared as a square sandwich but rather as a one-sided tartine made with a large single slice of bread from a round loaf.
1930s to 1960s – Many American cookbooks, published in the 1930s to1960s, featured this sandwich under different names such as French Sandwich, Toasted Ham Sandwich, and French Toasted Cheese Sandwich.
1950s – Although there are no existing documents to support this, it is felt that the Monte Cristo Sandwich was first served in southern California in the 1950s. On the other hand, some sources point out that Monte Cristo sandwich had its origins actually in Washington State right after the gold rush and was named for the place where it was invented – Monte Cristo, Wasghinton.
1966 – Disneyland in Anaheim, California also contributed to the trend of eating this sandwich. In 1966, it appeared on their menu of the Blue Bayou and Tahitian Terrace restaurants in New Orleanss Square in Disneyland and has continued to be a popular menu item to this day.