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WHAT IS A “EUROPEAN SANDWICH”?

An open-face sandwich is… Oh, that looks awesome!

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An open sandwich is a slice of fresh bread, with different spreads , butter, liver pâté, cheese spreads, cold cuts such as roast beef, turkey, ham, bacon, salami, beef tongue, mortadella, head cheese or sausages like beerwurst or kabanos, and vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, radish, scallion and cucumber.

Open sandwiches like this are consumed in Austria!!, Slovakia,  France, Denmark,  Norway,  Sweden,  Austria and Germany, the Czech Republic,  Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland as well as other parts of Europe, and North America as a regular breakfast and supper food item. The American tongue toast is offered as an entrée for breakfast, lunch, and supper and as an hors d’œuvre for formal parties.

In former Czechoslovakia a popular type of open sandwich is called chlebíčky (pl., sg. chlebíček) – slant ways cut slice of veka (long narrow white bread) spread with butter and/or with various combinations of mayonnaise salads and hard boiled egg, cheese, ham, salami, smoked fish (salmon or sprats or pickled herring), tomato, pickled cucumber, lettuce, raw onion or other vegetable, etc.

Open sandwich is the common, traditional sandwich type in the Nordic countries,  Estonia, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, where it is typically eaten at breakfast, lunch, supper, or as a snack. In Finland the sandwich is called voileipä, and in Estonia similarly võileib, which also means “butter bread”.

The Scandinavian open sandwich (Danish: smørrebrød, Norwegian: smørbrød, Swedish: smörgås or macka) consists of one piece of buttered bread, often whole-grain rye bread (Danish: rugbrød, Swedish: rågbröd), topped with, for instance, cold steak, shrimps, smoked salmon, caviar, hard boiled eggs, bacon, herring, fish fillets, liver pâté (Danish: leverpostej, Norwegian: leverpostei Swedish: leverpastej), and/or small meatballs. This is typically complemented by some herbs and vegetables such as parsley, cold salad, thinly sliced cucumber, tomato wedges and/or pickled beets etc. on the same slice of bread.

A condiment, such as mayonnaise, or mayonnaise-based dressing is also often included in some form.  An old traditional replacement for butter on a piece of bread with herring is pig fat. There are many variations associated with the smørrebrød/smørbrød/smörgås and there are even special stores, cafés and restaurants (especially in Denmark) that specialize in them.

The Dutch and Flemish Uitsmijter consists of one or more slices of bread topped with fried eggs (one per slice of bread), and can be accompanied by slices of cheese and/or meat (roast beef or ham). The dish is often served as a hearty breakfast. Sweet toppings are commonly used for breakfast in the Netherlands and Belgium: e.g. sprinkles, vlokken, or muisjes, next to the more widespread peanut butter, honey, jam, and chocolate spread.

In Great Britain, open sandwiches are rare outside of Scandinavian delicatessens. Instead, there is “on toast” (e.g., cheese on toast). However, this is not considered a sandwich. The open sandwiches found in Great Britain are the Welsh rarebit and the Scotch woodcock, an open sandwich served historically at the colleges of the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford and in the refreshment rooms of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom as late as 1949.

Our version is based on the Duran version, which is very popular in Vienna, Austria, where Duran originated! We think they are delicious and hope you will too….. Bon Appetit!