Smørrebrød: the Famous Open-Faced Sandwiches of Denmark

A quick Danish lesson: smørre = butter; brød = bread.

Smørrebørd (butter-bread) is what they call the famous open-faced sandwiches of Denmark.

For my first meal in Copenhagen I had: sandwich number 1 of Queen Victoria Cheese, rhubarb marmalade, toasted almonds and purple clover; and sandwich number 2 of pickled herring, mayo, potatoes, dill, crunchy fried buckwheat and sweet pickled onion. Both were layered on thin slices of dense rye bread.Smorrebord (butter-bread), what they call the famous open-faced sandwiches of Denmark. This at a some-what fancy café in Copenhagen.Al was so hungry I only got this quick grab shot of his, but it appears to be egg with flakes of a hard cheese, crunchy brown bits and dill in front; and roast beef, yellow mayo (curried?), deep-fried crunchy shallots and some peppery green.Smorrebord (butter-bread) in Copenhagen, DenmarkMy tiny dinner at Falkenberg, Sweden where they also had open-faced sandwiches. That’s crab on one side and I’m not sure what on the other, delicious though!Open-face sandwiches in Falkenberg, SwedenMounds of mayonnaise & dill shrimp on some sort of purple-leafed plant and rye bread underneath it all, of course!Shrimp & dill in the Kronberg Restaurant in Copenhagen, DenmarkAnd more mounds of shrimp on rye. Shrimp salad sandwich at a Café in Fiskebäckskil in SwedenAnd even greater mounds of shrimps. Believe it or not there’s a piece of bread under there somewhere.A mound of Rakmacka (Shrimp) in Grebbestad, SwedenA more typical smorgasbord in Odense, egg and potato salad with bacon on one, and roast beef with crispy shallots and yellow mayo on the other.Smorrebord (open-face sandwiches) at Storms Pakhus in Odense, DenmarkI came home addicted to rye bread and these little summer sandwiches.

A small historical note: I was first in Denmark in 1965 and remember one particular smørrebørd of thinly sliced rye bread, 1/4 inch of butter and a wafer of dark chocolate on top, a sort of smørrebørd dessert. We had this at Tivoli although I didn’t mention it in my diary. What I did mention was “butter one half inch thick” on some butter buns…"butter half an inch thick"


10 responses to “Smørrebrød: the Famous Open-Faced Sandwiches of Denmark

  1. I remember being very disappointed when I first had smorrebrod in Sweden. Here in the US we use the term to mean pretty much a massive variety of things. When I learned its origin was basically an open-faced sandwich I was sorely saddened. Until I tasted one that is!!! Oh joy, talk about yummy😂. Thanks for the sensory reminder!

  2. Oh, how I love these! Beautifully photographed…have to pop over the waters soon! Even if I live close to them, I only go once a year! Thank you for a mouth watering treat!

  3. Pingback: The Most Memorable Thing Elizabeth Ate That Year | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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