Ever heard of jambon-beurre? If the answer is yes, then you already know that simplicity is the key to perfection. Vice reveals that the beloved Parisian sandwich dates back to the 19th century when it was first made in the city’s Les Halles fresh food market. Just like back then, it’s made in much the same way today, and three ingredients are all that are necessary to assemble it: a crusty, freshly baked baguette, butter, and slices of Parisian ham. A whopping 1.28 billion jambon-beurre sandwiches are sold in France annually — and for good reason.
The traditional baguette for the sandwich should be hand-shaped and made with a sourdough starter. The butter should be of high quality, light to dark yellow in color, and made in France, or, for the best results — made in Normandy (via Frenchologie). And the ham shouldn’t be taken from the shoulder but from the thigh. The baguette is sliced, buttered on both sides, and then stuffed with ham slices.
Nothing else is needed because this classic combination is as good as it gets, but a few cornichons are sometimes served on the side as accompaniments (via 196Flavors). So when in Paris, do as the Parisians do and have a taste of this simple and delicious sandwich that proved its worth a long time ago.