Food - News

This Classic 3-Ingredient Sandwich Is A Parisian Staple

France may be known for croissants and escargot, but most Parisians still have a lot of love for humble, inexpensive, and portable sandwiches. You might be picturing a French dip (which comes from Los Angeles) or a croque monsieur, but one of the most quintessentially Parisian sandwiches is far simpler and just as delicious.

Jambon-beurre, or "ham-butter," is exactly what it sounds like, yet so much more than that. This sandwich of fresh butter and Parisian ham in a crusty baguette dates back to the 19th century, when it was first made in Paris's famous Les Halles food market, and a whopping 1.28 billion jambon-beurre sandwiches are sold in France annually.

The baguette for a jambon-beurre sandwich should be hand-shaped and made with a sourdough starter; the butter should be of high quality, light to dark yellow, and made in France (preferably Normandy); and the ham should be taken from the shoulder. Once you have the right stuff, just butter the baguette on both sides and stuff it with ham.

This three-ingredient combination is as good as it gets, which is why no additions or alterations to the jambon-beurre have ever become as popular as the original. A few cornichon pickles can be served on the side, but you should make like a Parisian and sample the sandwich on its own before deciding that it needs anything more.