Saturday, August 10, 2013

Un Jambon Beurre

Un Jambon Beurre!
I was coming out of marché d'Aligre the other day, starving and heard people requesting 'un Jambon Beurre' at this boulangerie and thought hmm...what's that?
Just the most popular classic sandwich in France is all and you better have one if you consider yourself any kind of Francophile.
I went home and looked up jambon beurre. What's the big deal? Ham plus butter plus baguette. Not even a smidge of moutarde. How can that be good? Boy was I wrong.
Today coming again out of marché d'Aligre I stopped at La Badine de Martine for the oh-so-classic jambon beurre. Time for a taste test. I asked the serveur if they had any. It was only 11 am. She said something unintelligible (at least with my limited French)
And gave a nod to the interior of the shop so I went inside and got on line.
Everything looked pristine and delicious. Always a good sign.
The French are thoughtful. They leave posters around for you to study while you wait your turn. I'm reading Trish Deseine's fabulous THE PARIS GOURMET at the moment. It comes out September 24 and I can't wait to tell you more about it. This is the must-have bible to food in Paris. No kidding. I didn't know there are just FOUR flours used by French boulangeries. When you see a sign outside saying Grana, Banette (like at this years best baguette winner) or Bagatelle this indicates the flour used by that particular boulangerie. La Badine uses RED LABEL Bagatelle farine, a bio flour. This is why there are so many lines in Paris - so you can learn important stuff.
Et voila. The sandwich was made fresh on the spot for me in no time. I'd secretly planned to ask for a dash of mustard but lost my nerve and good thing. This is simplicity at its best. The sweet butter plus the salty ham plus the crunchy baguette make for the perfect combination. You don't mess with perfection.
A good tip - look for a boulangerie with excellent prize-winning baguettes. Your chances of getting quality butter and ham on your sandwich are in your favor.
And look for lines. Another quality indicator.
And if BEES are lining up as well you have a home run!
Please visit me on FACEBOOK

31 comments:

  1. killing me softly with this jambon beurre...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I died and went to heaven ;)

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a deal to me! I bet the ham is not Swift's from a can either.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I thought the same thing when I first saw one of these and had the same reaction. The baguette is important but so is the ham. We can't get that kind of ham here in the States. C'est domage. Now I want one...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:14 PM

      You can get a french ham called Madrange (they are now made in Canada) at any gourmet gorcery store. Here in the DC area I can find Madrange at Balducci

      Delete
  4. The butter sounds odd - but you say that it is a perfect add - not mustard. I wish I had one to sample :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. know...I thought the same thing.
      Different taste buds, different strokes or something like that

      Delete
  5. Oh, that sounds wonderful! Can you send me one? .. No, I guess not. Oh well. Yet another reason why I must get back to Paris.

    By the way ... did you get the pink backpack???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't Jill
      It just didnt look as good on as it did off unfortunately
      I need to be 12 again...

      Delete
  6. Carol, thank you for this tribute to jambon-buerre.

    I often prepare a little sandwich to take along with me to work. Tomorrow will include jambon...but "Virginia" baked ham, with Australian cheddar, tomato, mayo and mustard, on a ciabatta roll. Quite a blend of cultures, but delicious.

    All the same, I am imagining what your sandwich was like and just know it was wonderful.

    Great that these sandwiches are available at the back of a patisserie that features all those lovely sweet pastries up front.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just 3.10€
      No sandwiches ever in Pâtisseries
      Only boulangeries or combo patiss/boulangeries

      Delete
  7. Everything looks so darn cute presented by you:-)
    Truly..
    You are an inspiration.
    Toujours.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I lost my last 2pictures though ;((

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ha. I don't eat bread or grains for this matter so thank you for the bread porn x

    ReplyDelete
  10. J'adore le Jambon beurre! And so do our kids...it is one of the easy food items they can order themselves since they speak practically zero French. :) xx Katie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm...you've been keeping this under yr hat...
      Well so has everybody else IMHO
      A well-kept French secret

      Delete
  11. Anonymous10:22 AM

    My two kids adore the Jambon beurre and it is the thing that they miss most out of anything that you may eat in France. The ham is actual ham from the leg of the pig, not like the pressed ham that we get here. My kids are 21 and 19 and they still get the hankering for their jambon beurre sandwich. I'm so glad that you discovered it, it truly is on of life's simplest but best treats to eat.
    love Laurie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so late to this party!
      Isn't if funny?
      If I hadn't overheard those folks ordering it the other day I'd still be in the dark with at least 50 trips to Paris under my belt!?

      Delete
  12. Mmmmm, that sounds delicious, Carol! I nodded my head reading your descriptions of the flours--my Romanian paternal grandmother, who was a fabulous cook, always said "they don't make flour like they used to," and I thought "what's she talking about?" but over the years, I've many times thought of her and said to myself, "grandma was so right--they bleach out all the good, flavorful part of flour and modify it so it's icky." You probably had delicious flour that produces the best breads... I always used unbleached, but it's still not as good as it used to be... (I think it's why I probably have gluten intolerance now...) Miles and miles of wheat fields sprayed to keep bugs off, etc--how can that be good, like the old=fashioned excellent stuff....sigh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The production of flour is a major big deal here.
      When Chef Paul Bocuse opened restaurants on the US he imported his own flour AND water!
      Who knew?

      Delete
  13. My father was from Hyeres (near Toulon) and lived in the US since he was 21. Two years ago I visited him in NY state. At 84 he was living alone, since my mom passed away years before. He made me a sandwich like none I had ever had growing up and it confused me...butter and ham. (Lots of butter, I might add.) I think a little bit of the French in him came out accidentally! I never knew why he did this until I just read your lovely post. Now it makes perfect sense. Sadly, my dad passed away in January. I would have loved to ask him about your "jambon beurre"! Merci! This brought me a sweet memory...Suzanne @ Le Farm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very touching Suzanne,
      I'm happy to have assisted you in your memories of things past...
      I can't believe how I've overlooked this simple sandwich all these years..
      It was always there right in front of me.

      Delete
  14. Any previous notions I had for lunch have been immediately scrapped in favor of this incredible sandwich!
    Our local bistro has delicious baguettes and Jambon de Paris. If they don't put on enough butter,I'll add my own.
    Beautiful pictures and another wonderful post.
    THANK YOU,Carol!Sunday just got a whole lot better!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hard to believe you've made so many trips &spent so much time there & just discovered one of the best things to eat in France. It's the ultimate picnic food & nowhere else does it taste the same. I would love one right now!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Carol, I just love your blog. It seems you're my bff because everything I love about Paris you love too! I look forward to it every time, especially while in Paris. Went to La Badine de Martine yesterday to try their baguettes thanks to you. Would be fun to meet for a drink or a jambon et beurre!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, it's Sunday night here in Michigan, and you've managed to make me hungry. I just finished eating a bowl of Cheerios, too. But are you sure they don't even put a little Grey Poupon on it?

    ReplyDelete
  18. FORGET THE MUSTARD!!!
    The moutarde is locked away in the larder.
    I kid you not.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was looking at all the little airy spaces in the bread in one of those photos. Rick is trying so hard to get his baguettes to look like that! I get to reap the benefits of his successes and failures, which still taste pretty good!

    This looks delicious -- and the shop charming. Lunchtime!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Too true about the lines! I've had too many tasteless jambon beurre sandwiches in the past and when I discovered it on the perfect baguette, you're so right, Carol. Mustard? Who needs it? Fresh, crispy and great butter. It's enough to make you beurre with delight.... ;-) Hammy, I know.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Jambon beurre in Paris ,, My favourite baguette , always have one ,, not sure why it is so tasty , it just IS.. Wouldn't have one in the UK though LOL

    Have you moved to Paris??

    ReplyDelete

Love hearing what you think