The Book of Smørrebrød is a tale about the evolution of Denmark’s most authentic food through the ages. Smørrebrød has been with the Danes since Viking times, and in the late 1800s, during Denmark’s first gastronomic golden age, it became known to the world as the ‘open-faced sandwich.’


‘Leave it to the Danes, those past masters of form and colour, to turn sandwiches into still lifes.’ R. W. Apple Jr (1934-2006)


In this book, you will learn the true story of this genuinely Danish culinary speciality upon which Denmark was more or less built, since rye bread was one of the most important foodstuffs. The word smørrebrød, like the open sandwiches it describes, is comprised of two parts: smør, meaning ‘butter’, and brød, meaning ‘bread’. Until recently, almost all Danes would eat rye bread with butter and various toppings for lunch daily, either as flat sandwiches wrapped in paper and brought to work or school, or as the more elaborate ‘højtbelagt’ (meaning piled high with toppings) smørrebrød found in restaurants and shops specialising in these special sandwiches.