The jambon beurre, the once-ubiquitous ham baguette, has a new rival for the status of France's snack of choice: the all-American hamburger.
The country that gave the world haute cuisine munched through a staggering 970m hamburgers last year, almost half of all sandwiches sold, according to a study published on Wednesday. In 2007, burger sales accounted for just one in seven sandwiches sold.
(Read more: Where'sthe beef? Industry at crossroads)
Dina Rudick | The Boston Globe via Getty Images
The explosion in burger sales will doubtless spark some soul-searching in a country where gastronomy has long been a point of pride but where sales at fast food outlets in 2012 outpaced those of traditional sit-down restaurants for the first time.
It will also likely add to growing concerns among some French lawmakers and food-standards groups, who complain that culinary standards are sliding.
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Last month, France's parliament passed the fait maison or "home-made" law, which will force restaurant owners to label more clearly how each dish on their menu is prepared.
The law, expected to go into force in March, is designed to halt therise of increasingly pre-prepared dishes as restaurant owners turn to agro-industry and off-premises catering services to offset falling sales caused by France's economic malaise.