Celebrating the German 'Butterbrot'

Lifestyle

Single topping

Stulle, Bemme, Bütterken, Knifte – a simple slice of buttered bread has many names all over the country. Despite the wealth of fast snacks available everywhere, it's still a classic at any time of the day. The CMA agriculture marketing group declared the Day of the German Butterbrot in 1999. The CMA no longer exists, but the day celebrating Germany's buttered bread lives on.

Lifestyle

Evening meal

Germans eat one hot meal a day, so bread with butter and a slice of cold meat or cheese is a common German evening meal - it really is called "Abendbrot," evening bread. Unlike a sandwich, the traditional Butterbrot has few, if any, other toppings.

Lifestyle

Endangered species?

Butterbrot fans created a website where they campaign for the preservation of the traditional buttered slices of rye bread "in the era of baguettes, sandwiches and croissants." They post recipes, art, quotes, literature and cartoons – and profess: "Yes, we butter our bread slices!" Above, the bread is spread with delicious Schmalz: rendered pork fat.

Lifestyle

Varieties

The Butterbrot has a fancy party variety, too, often seen on buffet tables. In the 1970s, when entire families sat glued to the TV on Saturday evenings, moms would prepare and serve plates of sliced, cut and topped bread.

Lifestyle

Bavarian specialty

Hearty, solid food: the Bavarian Brotzeit (again, bread is a staple ingredient) is a snack that was originally munched between breakfast and lunch, but is now widely available at any time of the day in southern Germany.

Lifestyle

Snacktime

If you peek into children's and teenagers' school bags, you can be sure to find one or two "Butterbrote," usually not just the buttered kind but topped with cheese, cold cuts, jam or a gooey chocolate spread. It's a common second breakfast at work and on trips for adults, too.

Lifestyle

'I love Butterbrot'

Many years ago, my grandmother in the western city of Dortmund would invariably make us kids slices of buttered bread ("Bütterken") for the road after a visit, for our two-hour drive back home. Stuffed as we were after lunch, cake and Abendbrot – there was always room for another Butterbrot.

It's traditional fare for young and old alike: A slice of fresh bread spread with nothing but butter. That's the basic version – join us for more on the Day of the German "Butterbrot"!