The best sandwich in the world is surely the Danish Smørbrod. Called an ‘open face sandwich it’s really a crafted combination of ingredients stacked, in specific order, over one piece of bread. Best served in an old Danish café at 12 noon, it’s not to be tackled lightly. The Danes have a very specific order to the ingredients and as you will build it yourself from the silver platter the ingredients are brought to your table on, it’s wise to have a Dane on hand to assist in the construction.
Sild, aka pickled herring, is a favorite topping and it comes in three distinct varieties – plain, spiced and curried and no self-respecting Danish fridge is without it. Before any fish gets on the sandwich you have to spread duck fat on the rye bread provided (if you see a piece of white bread, this is for the chicken salad one. DO NOT use the white bread with anything else).
Then you’ll carefully stack it, bread > duck fat > spiced herring > capers > onion > tomato > a sprig of dill. Then eat it mannerly with a knife and fork. Other combinations can and should be eaten at the same sitting. Roast beef comes with remoulade, horseradish, cucumber, peppers and roasted onion.
The Shooting Star variety is a piece of fried plaice, another white fish, then prawns, mayonnaise, red caviar, and some lemon. You will be laughed at for creating your own combos. Order water and you’ll be asked if you want a bath. This is serious business both in the way you make it and in what you have with it.
Structured, slavishly traditional, and when your palette adapts, very very tasty, it is the quintessential Scandinavian food but should only ever be eaten, even at midday, with a large glass of Tuborg Classic and ideally two small glasses of ice cold aquavit – Aalborg Jubilæums, if you can get it.