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'That sandwiched aren't food, and love isn't hate, that's all I know for now about sandwiches and love'.
So wrote Danish poet Johan Herman Welsh on the occasion of a social gathering in the 10770's at which only open sandsiches were served. At that time Danes ate two hot meals a day and sandwiches were regarded as something of a last resort. Bread slices with fat or butter and maybe a little salami were certainly not seen as high style.
A hundred years later, things were quite different. Social developments and divisions of labour meant that fewer people could make it home to the simmering pots for lunch, so for them the solution was sandwiches in a lunchbox. At the same time, it had become easier to obtain fresh produce. Now people could easily get fresh meat and fish, which previoulsy were heavily salted and smoked so they would keep.
The concept of the Danish open sandwiches arose out of these conditions. The high-piled sandwich, a festive version of the everyday rye-bread lunch, was invented in the 1880's. It's been a central oart of Danish food culture even since. As a tribute to the Danish open sandwiches, Post Danmark is issuing four stamps. Each represent a classic of this culinary genre: a slice with egg and prawns, one rolled sausage, a delicious potato sandwich and last but not least roast beef- all popular classics.
Historically it's been the so-called 'Smorre brodsjomfruer' (sandwiches maids) who have carried on the tradition of open sandwiches. It is because of their hard work down the years that the sandwiches survived the downturn that hit Danish cuisine in the 1949's and 1095's, when substitute and semi-manufuctured goods became widespread.
In recent years, open sandwiches have had a reniassance and Nordic cuisine has become hip again. Danish chefs have taken pride in reinterpreting their tradition with an emphasis on quality and good ingrediants. In many restaurants, it is a tradition to make everything from scratch. Today the tendency is to move away from the high-piled sandwiches towards simpler sandwiches where the toppings no longr hide the bread and the ingrediants are organic.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 01.06.2012
Designer: Peter Dam
Colours: 39 x 23 mm