German Butterbrot Day takes place every year on September 25. The day celebrates the well-loved German meal staple of buttered bread. Although buttered bread sounds like a rather bland meal, it’s actually a wonderful basis for any type of meal. Whether you want a light breakfast of jam on toast or a hearty dinner of schnitzel on buttered bread, you’re always going to start with bread and butter. And that’s always a good place to start.
History of German Butterbrot Day
German Butterbrot Day was started in 1999 by the Marketing Organization of German Agricultural Industries. For a long time, ‘butterbrot’ has been the staple food for Germans. The adaptability of the recipe means that it’s perfect for any meal or snack. Over recent years, ‘butterbrot’ has fallen out of popular consumption in favor of easier foods like instant muesli, toast, or takeaway food. Despite this recent shift, ‘butterbrot’ still remains a common staple food in Germany.
If you’re not from Germany, it may be difficult to understand why something as simple as bread and butter could capture the loyalty and stomachs of a whole nation. The truth is that the bread used is rarely the generic white or brown bread other countries are used to. Instead, Germans use more flavorful breads like sourdough, rye, pumpernickel, and a heavy bread called ‘Volkombrot.’ All these breads offer a different taste and texture that can be paired with any topping. Honestly, the concept of ‘butterbrot’ is only as limited as your imagination and culinary experiments take you.
The adaptability of the food staple is part of why it remains popular even if it’s easier to make instant food or order in. German Butterbrot Day provides an opportunity for people to try some wacky combinations or share their own favorite recipes of ‘butterbrot.’
German Butterbrot Day timeline
In England, it is illegal to sell bread weighing 600 grams.
The Boudin Bakery in France starts their original dough starter that is still being used in every loaf they bake today.
Sliced bread is only invented in 1928.
Today, bread is made with different flour, yeast, and additives than traditional bread was made with.
German Butterbrot Day FAQs
What’s the difference between a British sandwich and ‘Butterbrot’?
British sandwiches tend to use a softer bagged white bread, while German ‘butterbrot’ uses firmer and more flavorful breads.
Is ‘butterbrot’ an open-faced sandwich?
Yes, it is.
Why do ‘butterbrots’ always fall on the floor?
It’s a common myth that they fall buttered side down, and the likely reason for this is that the topside is heavier.
German Butterbrot Day Activities
Butter that bread
The best way to celebrate is to enjoy the food that the day is all about! So go on, get that bread and butter!
Try something new
Think about throwing together some cold meats, pickles, and a hearty sourdough together. If meat isn’t your thing, swap it out for chickpeas.
Make your own bread
You might already be pretty experimental when it comes to your food, but why not challenge yourself to make the foundation of ‘butterbrot,’ the bread! Take some time out to try it!
5 Facts About Bread That Will Blow Your Mind
No fresh bread
In WWII, it was illegal to sell freshly-baked bread while rationing was happening, as people feared that they wouldn’t be able to stop themselves from eating it immoderately.
The term "upper crust" originates from when bread was baked in stone ovens, so the bottom would be sooty and only the rich could afford to buy bread with the bottom crust cut off.
Don’t feed the ducks
Feeding ducks bread is not good for them as they can’t properly digest it.
The original eraser
Before erasers were invented, people used to use soft bread crumbs to erase pencil marks.
In Australia, there’s a popular dessert served at children's parties called ‘fairy bread,’ which consists of buttered bread and sprinkles.
Why We Love German Butterbrot Day
We love bread
It’s as simple as that. We love bread, whether it’s savory or sweet, healthy or unhealthy. Bread is just a good food for any meal and works no matter the weather.
‘Butterbrot’ is a part of German culture. It’s always a privilege to share in another’s cultural experience.
We know what’s for dinner now
We’ll admit that we struggle to decide what to have for dinner most nights. But every time we write about food holidays, we seem to get this strange craving for the food that we write about. Speaking of dinner, we’re thinking of open-faced sandwiches. What do you think?
German Butterbrot Day dates