Le Griffonnier|Paris

What makes a good sandwich, this is a good question. To understand what makes anything good, you need to understand what is good. The idea of good is easy to say, and difficult to do. Over time people change, ideas evolve and speed is the most significant factor in change. People expect fast as a priority, we watch our clocks, not physically but mentally.

When I was growing up, we never had any butter on our meat sandwiches. In our household, meat and butter was considered an oxymoron. I was conditioned to think it was disgusting, and after many years of practice, I realized a meat sandwich can easily accommodate butter.

In fact the butter added a richness to a simple food, people enjoyed the butter touch without any health considerations. In America they figured out that butter was unhealthy and substituted it with the worst thing possible margarine.

By the 1860s, butter had become so in demand in France that Emperor Napoleon III offered prize money for an inexpensive substitute. A French chemist claimed the prize with the invention of margarine in 1869, Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès. The first margarine was beef tallow flavored with milk and worked like butter; vegetable margarine followed after the development of hydrogenated oils.

Fat is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body’s functions. Some vitamins, for instance, must have fat to dissolve and nourish your body. But there is a dark side to fat. Fat is high in calories and small amounts can add up quickly. If you eat more calories than you need, you will gain weight, and excess weight is linked to poor health.

The butter in France is very rich, it adds a dimension of taste to the overall sandwich. While many believe olive Oil is better and this assumption makes good sense, such scientists such as Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, warns that saturated fat is not black and white when it comes to heart disease:

“A central issue is what replaces saturated fat if someone reduces the amount of saturated fat in their diet. If it is replaced with refined starch or sugar, which are the largest sources of calories in the U.S. diet, then the risk of heart disease remains the same. However, if saturated fat is replaced with polyunsaturated fat or monounsaturated fat in the form of olive oil, nuts and probably other plant oils, we have much evidence that risk will be reduced″

Anyway you look at it, this is the ultimate sandwich, ham and cheese, not the usual cheese, here they use cantal. The bread is superb, a masterpiece sandwich and something that has not been destroyed by the French Administration yet.

Le Griffonnier
8 Rue des Saussaies 75008 Paris
01 42 65 17 17
8 Rue des Saussaies 75008 Paris
T: 01 42 65 17 17