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In defense of bread and butter (butterbrot)

({{Information |Description={{de|Belegte Brote/ Butterbrot}} {{en|Butterbrot-style}} |Source=[http://flickr.com/photos/cervus/452192225/ flickr] |Date=9. April 2007 |Author=flickr user [http://flickr.com/people/cervus/)

Butterbrot! Image Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Yesterday I cleaned out the fridge and found SEVEN kinds of butter. S-E-V-E-N. I think I have a butter problem. I could literally sit and eat butterbrot all dang day. Butter is a perfect food. When paired with good bread it is heaven. When I was a girl in New York I would always put butter on the bread before the jelly or jam. This made a lovely concoction that, in later years, I realized only served to make my cheeks and thighs chubby. It also made it so that my toast stayed crispy, even when Mom cut it into strips (little soldiers) so that I could dunk it in the soft-boiled egg. Yes, I did put buttered, jellied toast into my soft-boiled egg.

Here’s the list of butters that I found in the refrigerator:

  • Rose Valley (from the farmer)
  • Jacobs Creamery (from the farmer)
  • Organic Valley Pasture Butter
  • Tillamook (my standard cooking butter)
  • Plugra
  • Celles Cur Belle (French with Grey Sea Salt…omnom!)
  • Landliebe

Which is why I’m in a tizzy this morning. I just read an article  about buttering a sandwich containing mayonnaise… in which the author pokes fun at the English for this phenomenon. I thought I’d share… It’s short so go ahead and read it first then come back, I’ll wait. Got it?

The author, at first, appears to be quoting a 1390’s classic cookbook which she declines to name so I cannot verify the authenticity.  If one reads the article, then realizes she’s not quoting from the book but plans to tell you tomorrow about a recipe from said book.  However… that being said, what reason can be had for buttering bread which then contains a mayonnaise? I can immediately think of one very good reason which I would have let my inner 1390’s Englishwoman speak, but she had no knowledge of mayonnaise as it was not in widespread use until the early 1800’s. But I digress.

I can think of one very good reason for buttering your bread before putting mayonnaise soaked tuna on it, as a physical barrier. Yes, that’s right, to keep the bread from soggying. Also, may I just say that good butter, delicious butter, sweet butter, is the perfect condiment for a sandwich. Full stop.

Butter on bread or butterbrot is a simple sandwich base.

There’s also käsebrot and wurstbrot. These are all sandwiches which begin with the buttered bread and then have either cheese or sausage added, respectively. I was introduced to this recently at Hess Delicatessen in Lakewood, a traditional German deli with a restaurant on one side and a little grocery on the other. The sandwiches were simple: (1)a slice of bread, buttered; (2) a slice or two of wurst of choice on top. No, there wasn’t any mustard on my sandwich and yes, I was surprised. I tasted the wurst which is the best wurst in town (sorry!) AND I had room for a cream horn.

That’s where I bought German butter…which is in the fridge with the French butter, the farmer fresh butter and the other five butters…

Tweets - Francine

Tweets - Jason

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