A Journey Through the Sandwiches—Butterbrot

There’s very little on this earth that a dollop of butter can’t make taste better. Bread, eggs, leather. If you’re one of the survivors of a crashed airliner with a bunch of briefcases and a few rods of butter between you, you’ve got it made in the shade, my man. No cannibalism for your party—you’re sliding Land o’Lakes across a dead fuck’s boiled wallet and living decent. A few airplane nips of vodka keeping everyone nice and pickled? 255 days. Me and ten people could survive in the mountains for 255 days.

Recently, while tremendously high, I found myself asking the question, “what’s the difference between butter and cheese?” I invited my friend Louis over because it freaked me out so much.

“Is butter… is butter just rich cheese?” I asked him, eyes red and watering. He was dumbstruck for a minute. And then we both cried and ate a pound of Havarti.

The butterbrot is a sandie of German origin that is bread coated in butter. It is also known as a butterstule, a bütterken, a bemme, and a stulle. Do not call it toast. On top of the butter layer, a sort of anything-goes game is played, depending on the diner’s mood, the season, and the time of day. For breakfast, it could be topped with, say, blackberries and honey. For supper? Salmon roe. Do not call it toast. For lunch, egg salad. It is an open faced sandwich. Do not call it toast.

Isn’t this the same as a toast sandwich

No fuck you.

What’s with the fake sandwiches lately?

They’re not fake. These articles about sandwiches are almost-exclusively sourced from the famous Wikipedia article, List_of_sandwiches. The only exception I can think of is the chickpea salad, and since Wikipedia is the Online Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit, over a long enough timeline, that absence is merely temporary. The butterbrot also has its own Wikipedia page, in which there is a subsection called “Decline“.

What’s with the bullshit sandwiches from this list then?

I am trying to illustrate a certain sense of austerity as I think about big things in my real life. Picture me with my chin resting firmly on my knuckles, my arm bent at the elbow on a desk made out of stone.

I’m gay.

Me too, dude.

Photo credit: Wikipedia user Pianist