Butterbrot is usually a slice of German bread spread with butter and with extra filling of some sort. Not a full lunch, it is usually a snack for break time. At breakfast and dinner, they are consumed open-faced, but if you take them to school or work, they are folded together with the filling in the middle.
While it's not a good idea to order a "sandwich" in Germany (they have no idea what an American sandwich is), you can't usually order a "Butterbrot" either. You have to make it yourself.
The important parts of the "Butterbrot" are:
- The bread. It must be a dense, non-squishy type or you can't spread the butter properly.
- The butter. Sour cream butter from Germany, Denmark or Ireland is preferred.
- The toppings. Sausage, cheese, jam, radishes, pickles, Nutella, onions, and sometimes all of them at the same time.
- One piece of bread, thickly spread with cream cheese, some mustard, a slice of Edamer cheese and a thinly sliced tomato.
- Pumpernickel with butter, cream cheese, Nutella and cherry preserves.
- Rhinelander Graubrot (rye/wheat sourdough) with liverwurst, tomato slices, salt and pepper (and butter, of course!).