When it comes to stocking up on the kitchen essentials, more is always butter than less.
But in France, a serious shortage of the dairy product is causing chaos in supermarkets, restaurants and cafes alike, inspiring people to make a quick buck on the goods online.
Dubbing the shortage “the worst since the Second World War," the Le Figaro newspaper reported that the sight of supermarket shelves empty of butter is becoming increasingly common.
In response, one cheeky citizen took to Le Bon Coin, a Craigslist-type classified website, to post an ad for a small slice of baguette slathered in butter — known as a “tartine” — in an attempt capitalize on the demand.
“Tartine for sale covered in real half-salted (demi-sel) Breton butter, bought just a week ago. I stress that the tartine has been toasted, however I waited for it to cool before applying the butter,” the seller wrote in a post that has since gone viral, The Local reports.
He also priced the item at 5 euro, or just under $6.
While the seller later told France Radio that the ad was a joke simply meant to poke fun at the ongoing butter crisis, the dairy disaster is no laughing matter.
According to The Local, the trouble began in 2015 when the European Union abolished its system of milk quotas, ultimately leading to a decline in production that coincided with a rising demand for buttery baked goods from Europe across Asia and the Middle East.
Though demand remains high, French bakeries struggle to fill orders, many bakers refuse to compromise on the integrity of their butter-centric pastries.
"We cannot change the recipe. That would be unprofessional," Paris bakery manager Jose Pires told Agence France-Presse.