Monday, February 09, 2009

Belegte Brötli / Lachsbrötli Sandwiches

One of the most eye-catching product in all of the Swiss bakeries are the belegte brötli and lachsbrötli, or aspic-coated, open-faced sandwiches. (And in response to my last post, the brötli sandwiches were my favorite purchase from Zurich's farmers market.)

After scouring the web, I discovered that "brotli" translates into "an open-faced sandwich," and therefore, is much like a French tartine. However, different from most open-faced sandwiches, brötli sandwiches are encased with a thin blanket of gelatin made from rich meat consummé.

Brötli sandwiches are very attractive--a definite visual feast for the eyes. They are decoratively topped with thin layers of smoked salmon or ham, blanched ivory-hued asparagus spears, dill pickles, slices of boiled chicken eggs, wedges of tomatoes, pimento stuffed olives, a twirl of soft butter or mayonnaise from a star-shaped piping tip, and raw yellow onion rings or pearl onions.

For my aspic-enrobed sandwich, I ordered tuna, or "thunfisch." The tuna tasted like it was from a can, but it still tasted delicious. It was mashed into a substantial and creamy spread, and thickly mounded on a square slice of white bread. My brötli came with a briny dill pickle slice, a lone tomato wedge, and a raw onion ring. The cooling aspic layer lent a light and refreshing dimension, and yet, oddly hearty and substantial flavor to my regular tuna sandwich.

If you are interested in traveling to Switzerland, do try out a brötli sandwich. Also, feel free to check out some of my other Zurich-related posts, here:
And here are some posts on other foods that I tried in Zurich, that you might consider giving a taste or two:


  1. The way the light reflects off the can it be anything but good!

  2. I love these old fashioned sandwiches! I'm glad you liked them...



  3. The "glistening" factor is totally there KirkK!

    Yes, I really love your country Rosa's Yummy Yums!

  4. The sandwich looks great but I just don't know about aspic...

  5. hey PE, so yummy!

    People in Zürich speak various dialects and languages, as I am sure you are aware. "Belegte Brötli" is the Swiss-German (or "Schweizerdeutsch") way of saying (bread-) "roll" with stuff. In German it is a "Belegtes Brötchen" or in Austria "Semmmel". Berlin calls them "Schrippe"

    This post talks about the various words

    "Thon" is also another dialect thing for "Thunfisch" (or tuna).

    "Lachsbrötli" is just another covered bread which (according to the site may be specially requested) is just smoked salmon instead of tuna (or salami, or ham or whatever). I wonder if they ship to the US :P

    i hope this helps :) now i am craving a Brötli...darn darn!

  6. Wow, I've never seen these types of sandwiches before, but they sound really hearty and decadent!

  7. Aspic is worth a first taste Sara, it just tastes like a savory (but cold) broth, although the unfamiliar texture may be a bit off-putting.

    Wow, thank you so much RLo for explaining to me the difference! I was a bit perplexed by the results when I was googling "brotli," because I was unable to find an appropriate English translation. But I found it through you! So lachsbrotli just refers to salmon. Darn, I should have ordered one, instead of just getting tuna!!

    They are quite delicious Jesse, and worth a taste!

  8. hmmm now that's a truly intriguing concept, I guess it can also help keep the sandwich fresh? It looks like something you would see in Japan!

  9. That is an interesting theory Foodhoe, I thought the bread would be soggy, but it wasn't too bad! That is quite a surprise to me, and I wonder how these sandwiches are made. But I do see your point that bacteria may be kept out by the jello coating.


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