Although the Scandinavian countries are similar on the whole, there are lots of subtle differences. For example, the word for breakfast in Swedish; frukost, means lunch in Danish. Confusing!
And when it comes to sandwiches, there are differences too! We’re all fairly passionate about good bread and our sandwiches are all open-faced so you get a good ratio of topping to bread but in Sweden we prefer big sandwiches, like a good prawn sandwich that substitutes as a meal, but the Danish culture is all about smørrebrød; smaller open-faced sandwiches beautifully decorated with a lot of toppings. Most are on Danish rye bread (the dark one with whole kernels) but for some toppings like prawns, a white bread is better.
My last day in Sweden in the summer we invited some friends over for a late fika before I needed to leave for the airport. I love having an activity planned the last day so it feels more lika a regular day than just a travel day, but at the same time I needed to pack and couldn’t do something too elaborate. So that’s why mamma and I decided on smørrebrød; they’re filling and easy to make, but because they look pretty it really looks like you’ve made an effort (even though you just assembled stuff). Afterwards we had cake and coffee and it was such a lovely afternoon.
Open-faced sandwich with prawns, per sandwich
½ slice good quality white bread
1 little gem leaf
½ boiled egg, sliced
1 tbsp Hellmann’s or homemade mayonnaise
ca 6 large cold water prawns, hand peeled
2 slices cucumber
1 slice lemon
1 sprig dill
Butter the bread and put the lettuce leaf on the bread. Spoon on half of the mayonnaise and place the egg slices on top. Add the rest of the mayo to the eggs and top with the prawns. Arrange the cucumber and lemon slices decoratively and finish with the dill.
Open-faced sandwich with paté, per sandwich
½ or 1 small slice dark Danish rye bread
1 little gem leaf
1 thick slice brussel’s paté or similar
½ slice crispy fried bacon or pancetta
1 tsp crispy onions
pickled gherkins, sliced
1 tomato wedge
1 parsley sprig
Butter the bread and place the lettuce on the bread. Place the paté on top and add the bacon/pancetta nicely atop the paté, in the middle of the sandwich. On one side of the bacon add the crispy onions and on the other side the gherkins. Top with a tomato wedge and parsley.