The term “Cordon Bleu” (by itself) relates to a special order of French knights. Presumably, by association, cordon bleu as it relates to recipes (as in, chicken cordon bleu…boneless breast of chicken wrapped around cheese and thinly sliced ham) also originated in France as dishes of distinguished classes. Food historians tell us the notion is debatable.
On the other hand? Recipes are not invented. They evolve. Culinary evidence confirms roulades and bracioline composed of veal/chicken, ham and cheese were favored in centuries past by several cultures and cuisines. Most notably: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy. Recipes (and recipe names) varied according local tastes and language. Italian-inspired recipes generally feature prosciutto (ham) and Parmesan (cheese). “Cordon bleu,” as we Americans know it today, first surfaced in the early 1960s. Our country’s culinary interpretation parlayed prosciutto for thinly sliced deli ham and Parmesan for mozzerella, Gruyere, or Swiss cheese. Old World masterpiece going with the flow. The perfect American convergence. Of course? The timing was perfect.