Smørrebrød: Open Sandwiches Popular in Denmark


In Denmark, there is a traditional open sandwich called Smørrebrød.

This sandwich serves salted herring, roast pork, and vegetables on rye bread.

The abundance of ingredients is unique to Denmark, where dairy farming and pork production thrive. Its volume and colorful appearance also characterize it.

In this article, I would like to introduce you to Smørrebrød, a Danish specialty.

Standard Danish Lunch

A traditional open-faced sandwich called Smørrebrød is a staple lunchtime meal in Denmark.

A generous portion of toppings such as meat, fish, dairy, or vegetables on a thin slice of rye bread or baguette characterizes it.

Smørrebrød is a combination of the Danish words “smørre” for butter and “brød” for bread.

The literal translation is “bread with butter on it.”

In Denmark, Smørrebrød was originally simply the leftovers from the previous day on bread.

It has become a national dish in Denmark, either as a standard lunch menu item or as casual fast food.

Because smørrebrød is an open sandwich, it is eaten with a knife and fork.

Instead of grabbing it by the hand like most sandwiches, smørrebrød is cut into bite-sized pieces with a knife and fork.

This is more convenient as the ingredients do not spill out.

Ingredients for Smørrebrød

The ingredients for Smørrebrød are bread, spread, and pålegg.

Rye bread is the standard choice for the base of the sandwich.

Pålegg refers to the ingredients that go on top of Smørrebrød.

You can choose the ingredients for the main meat or fish, herbs, vegetables, or fruit.

Once you have selected the elements of your choice, the key is to arrange them to cover the bread.

Generally, rye bread is used

With its dense crumb and moderate acidity, Rye bread is a favorite for Smørrebrød.

Rye is a plant known for its ability to grow in cold climates.

For this reason, rye bread has long been eaten in Denmark and other Nordic countries.

Of course, bread other than rye bread, such as French bread, can also be used.

Danish specialties in Pålegg

Pålegg, an ingredient of the dish, shows the characteristics of Denmark.

About 62% of Denmark’s land is arable land for agriculture.

Livestock production, including pig and dairy farming, is the primary industry in Denmark.

Located on the Jutland Peninsula and surrounded by the sea, Denmark is one of the world’s leading fishing nations.

Therefore, Smørrebrød is full of Danish specialty ingredients.

Meats such as roast pork, salted beef, bacon, and ham are abundant in Pålegg.

In addition to high-calorie meats, other popular ingredients include Danish seafood specialties such as smoked salmon, salted herring, and shrimp.

Other ingredients include boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocados, and other elements.

Depending on your mood and preferences, you can create a gorgeous-looking Smørrebrød by topping it with whatever ingredients you like.


Smørrebrød is a traditional Danish dish consisting of sliced bread topped with ingredients.

It is eaten for lunch and in various settings, with specialty restaurants opening their stores.

Although it is a simple dish, it can be served with a wide range of ingredients and looks stylish.

It is easy to make if you have the right ingredients, so why not try it for tomorrow’s lunch?