French Jambon Beurre

French Entree



1 24″-baguette (ficelle style, if you can find it)
¼ cup salted butter, softened
9 ounces ham, sliced
9 ounces Gruyère or Emmental cheese (optional)

Serves 3. Takes 10 minutes.


Cut baguette open lengthwise almost all the way through. Open baguette. Spread butter evenly on top and bottom. Place ham evenly along baguette bottom. Distribute cheese, if used, evenly on top of ham. Close and press baguette. Divide into 3 8″-long sandwiches.


1) In 1972, Neil Diamond recorded the song, “Song Sung Blue.” It is a great song and has remained justly popular for 50 years.

2) If you substitute the words “Jambon Beurre” for “Song Sung Blue” you still have a truly great song. Okay, sing the song in your head with the new lyrics. See? Ya see? The song’s still superb.

3) Jambon Beurre is a simple, yet great sandwich. French sandwich lovers have eaten them for many, many years.

4) How many?

5) I don’t know.

6) But I do know that the French devoured a little over a billion jambon beurres in 2013.

7) That’s not current. That’s from about nine years ago, as of press time.

8) But it takes a long time to count that high. If a French woman, say Farine du Ble were to count one such sandwich every second, it would take her about 33 years to complete the tally. Clearly, the task is more than a one-woman job.

10) Perhaps France could eliminate all unemployment by hiring all those without jobs to count the jambon beurres being consumed. In February, 2022 had 2,977,000 out of work people. If these people were hired by the state to count a billion jambon beurres and took ten seconds to count each sandwich, it would take them about an hour. Maybe longer if the counting involved travel.

11) Now you know how important arithmetic can be.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “French Jambon Beurre

  1. italiadiva

    While we’re at it, why don’t we count every stick of gum chewed by Americans. That should take a while, too, and involve a few people.


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