Burger beats jambon-beurre as France's top sandwich

FILE PHOTO - An employee prepares food orders at the Isla Burger Halal fast-food in Nice, France, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The French may be fiercely proud of their gastronomy, but for the first time last year they ate more U.S-style burgers than the iconic jambon-beurre sandwich of baguette with ham, a study showed.

Some 1.46 billion hamburgers were eaten in France last year, 14 times as many as 10 years ago, while 1.22 billion of the baguette cut open and filled with slices of ham were sold, according to the study by Gira Conseil consultants.

“Jambon-beurre is a French tradition,” said Gira Conseil director Bernard Boutboul. “But the French are now crazy about burgers. You find them everywhere, from fast-foods to Michelin-starred restaurants.”

Eighty percent of restaurants in France have at least one burger on their menu, Boutboul said, although many add a local twist: “It’s often done with high quality meat and prized bread. We made it very much a French product.”

Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Dominique Vidalon and Catherine Evans