Open sandwich

Open sandwich
Smørbrød, smørrebrød or smörgås, Scandinavian open sandwich at a cafeteria in Norway

An open sandwich, also known as an open face/faced sandwich, Ulrich Sandwich, bread baser, or tartine, consists of a single slice of bread with one or more food items on top.


In various countries

An open sandwich is a slice of fresh bread or toast, 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, Germany, 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 Great Britain, the open toasted sandwich doesn't exist, instead there is "on toast" e.g. cheese on toast. However, this is not considered a sandwich.

The Dutch and Flemish Uitsmijter arrives on a large plate with large slices of usually white bread, topped with a selection of meats, cheeses, vegetables and possibly an egg. The dish is often served as a hearty breakfast.

Open sandwich is the common, traditional sandwich type in the Nordic countries, Estonia, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Latvia, where it is typically eaten at breakfast, as lunch or other meal.

The Scandinavian open sandwich (Danish: smørrebrød, Norwegian: smørbrød, Swedish: smörgås) 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. In Finland the sandwich is called voileipä which also means "butter bread" and the Finnish rye bread is ruisleipä.

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 the United States an open faced sandwich may also refer to a slice of bread topped with warm slices of roasted meat and gravy (called a "Manhattan" in some areas), or bread topped with Welsh rarebit. This is also done in Scandinavian countries, where they eat open faced sandwiches with fried meat and fried fish quite often.


During the Middle Ages, thick slabs of coarse bread called "tranches" (late 15th century French) or, in its English derivative, "trenchers", were used as plates. At the end of the meal, the food-soaked trencher was eaten by the diner (from which we get the expression "trencherman"), or perhaps fed to a dog or saved for beggars. Trenchers were as much the harbingers of open-face sandwiches[1] as they were of disposable dishware. As such, open-face sandwiches have a unique origin and history, differing from that of the true (multi-slice) sandwich.


The term "sandwich" is occasionally used (informally) in reference to open-faced sandwiches, but the term "sandwich" more formally refers to a dish with two slices of bread with a filling between them, not on top.[2] The open-faced "sandwich" also has a unique history (described above), originating between the 6th and 16th centuries, whereas the modern sandwich traces its roots to the Earl of Sandwich.[1]

In the court case in the United States of Panera Bread Co. v. Qdoba Mexican Grill, the judge ruled that a true sandwich (from a legal perspective) must include at least two slices of bread.[3] Many open-faced sandwiches do not satisfy this condition, although some served in diners and restaurants in the northeastern U. S. actually do pile the meat and gravy atop two overlapping slices of bread.


See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • open sandwich — n BrE a single piece of bread with meat, cheese etc on top American Equivalent: open faced sandwich …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • open sandwich — ► NOUN ▪ a sandwich without a top slice of bread …   English terms dictionary

  • open sandwich — noun sandwich without a covering slice of bread • Syn: ↑open face sandwich • Hypernyms: ↑sandwich * * * noun : a sandwich lacking a top covering of bread * * * a sandwich served on only one slice of bread, without a covering slice. [1945 50] * *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • open sandwich — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms open sandwich : singular open sandwich plural open sandwiches British a sandwich made using one piece of bread, with no top piece …   English dictionary

  • open sandwich — бутерброд peanut butter sandwich бутерброд с арахисовым маслом a bite size sandwich бутерброд «на один укус» open faced cheese sandwich бутерброд с сыром hero sandwich «богатырский бутерброд» tuna fish sandwich бутерброд с рыбой …   English-Russian travelling dictionary

  • open sandwich — noun (C) BrE a single piece of bread with meat, cheese, etc on top; open­faced sandwich AmE …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • open sandwich — a sandwich served on only one slice of bread, without a covering slice. [1945 50] * * * …   Universalium

  • open sandwich — noun Any dish consisting of only one slice of bread, with any topping. Syn: sandwich …   Wiktionary

  • open sandwich — noun a sandwich without a top slice of bread …   English new terms dictionary

  • open sandwich — /oʊpən ˈsænwɪtʃ/ (say ohpuhn sanwich) noun a thick slice of bread, garnished with meat, cheese, eggs, or the like …  

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