A Brotzeit is a daily Bavarian occasion and could be translated as “Bread Break”, it is usually considered the morning break between breakfast and lunch, a time for a sandwich and may be a beer. Besides, considered the time out from your working schedule, the “Brotzeit” is now also the name for a variety of dishes you find on Bavarian menus and it can be served at any time during the day.
The Bavarian Brotzeit, the dish as it is served in restaurants and beer gardens:
As the title says you have to start with bread, usually a small basket of the hearty double crusted sourdough rye bread with butter and a couple of crunchy hard rolls accompanies a sometimes wooden platter filled with different types of luncheon meats, sausages, boiled ham, hard cheeses and often also a soft cheese spread like an “Obatzda” or other locally famous fresh prepared cheese. Add a pickle and some mustard or even a Mustard-Pickle and do not forget the most important part, a cool “Blonde” known as Lager or Pilsner!
In Franconia, the northern part of Bavaria, a Brotzeit is always a dish which is not heated, so a soup and a sandwich would not be considered a Brotzeit there. Included in the Brotzeit menu could be a mixed Brotzeit platter as pictured above, a Cheese platter with breads, one with just different types of Ham, “Bavarian Wurstsalat” or even a Steak Tartar open sandwich. Also specialty cheeses like a nice ripe smelly Limburger served with onions and vinegar and oil.
I stand corrected: During my last visit I found also some warm menu items under the Brotzeit category like Currywurst and a pair of Wieners on a bun, if my memory serves me right these used to be considered “Imbiss” (German fast food).
Some of the cold cuts and sausages like those offered in Bavaria are shown in the picture on the left. A wide variety of authentic “Wurst” is produced in Sarasota, Florida by Geier’s Sausage Kitchen, which is run by a Franconian/Bavarian Master Sausage Maker who settled there. This makes a good Bavarian/Franconian Brotzeit an occasion to look forward to, together with one of the superb local “Bier’s” you might think you are in seventh heaven. I mentioned Geier’s, as my Christmas order just arrived by UPS and I could not help but fix myself a Brotzeit right away and I am enjoying every bite of it while writing this.
Another example of this traditional custom would be at one of the world’s most famous beer gardens in the shadow of the Chinese Tower in the English Garden in Munich, where you can actually bring along your Brotzeit and just order your beer/drink from them.
We added different Brotzeit salads like a tomato salad with or without bologna, a herring salad, a couple different wurst salads and also “Fleischwurst mit Musik” at ingeskitchen.com.
Our homemade Suelze with extra diced onions and more vinegar poured over it add a double crusted Rye Bread and it is also a Brotzeit worth mentioning.
I have to end now as one of those tall, cool “Blondes” mentioned above is waiting for me.
Brotzeit pictures from the Reiterstueberl in Grosswendern: