DANISH OPEN-FACE SANDWICHES
The Danes have been enjoying open-face sandwiches, smørrebrød, for 175 years. These delicious sandwiches are not found anywhere else, not even in the neighbouring countries of Norway and Sweden – until recently. Restaurants serving Danish open-face sandwiches are now popping up in many parts of the World.
I had only been in Denmark a few weeks when a friend of mine, also a foreigner, suggested we could eat at a restaurant where they specialized n Danish open-face sandwiches. At that time, I thought smørrebrød was smörgåsbord, the Swedish version of warm buffet. I was expecting to find hot food. Most of the food was Cold. There were large platters of fish, salmon, ham, shrimps, eggs, roast beef, chicken and at least ten different kinds of cheese. There were small bowls filled with what we thought aat the time were different kinds of Salads. They looked like potato Salad, macaroni Salad, fruit Salad. We should have noticsed that they were placed in small bowls and therefore were not Salads. Later we learned that they were bowls of mayonnaise, remoulade and garanishes to place on the finished sandwiches.
We knew nothing about how to make our own sandwiches and took a portion of almost everything, fish, smoked salmon, roast beef, ham, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, some cheese and at last some salads. We started to eat and took a bite randomly of everything on the plate. In the mean time a waiter arrived with a bread basket with al least 15-20 slices of bread. We didn’t have a clue as what to do.
The Next day I told a Danish friend about our experience. She laughed and said Danish open-face sandwiches have a very specific and time tested combinations of food that are not to be contested or fooled with. In the next few months she went with us and guided us through the making of these delicious sandwiches.
I have now written a book about these wonderful sandwiches and hope that more people will learn how to make sandwiches at home.