What is Brotzeit? It’s a Delicious Bavarian SNACK!
In Bavaria, as in the rest of Germany, food is important. You need fuel to put in a hard day’s work. And you need something to soak up the alcohol in the beer (which is legally a bread in Germany… but that’s another story). Grabbing a slice of toast on your way out the door is not going to cut it. What you need is a second breakfast, what you really need is Brotzeit. What is Brotzeit? Literally, Brotzeit means Bread Time. And in Bavaria, Brotzeit is a time to sit down, and have a little something (haha, little), sort of a hearty snack, around 10am. But Brotzeit can also mean a snack later in the day… say at a Biergarten… when you are enjoying a few liters of beer in the afternoon sun with friends, and it’s good to have a base in your stomach.
Don’t confuse Brotzeit with Mahlzeit (which is meal time). Brotzeit is snack, Mahlzeit is meal! And Kaffeezeit is coffee in the afternoon. While Abendbrot (what I grew up with) is Evening Bread and Vesper is another between meal snack/meal. One definition says that Abendbrot comes AFTER 6pm, and Vesper is BEFORE 6pm, but after Mittagessen, the mid-day meal. (All these meals make me wonder if Tolkien got his idea for Hobbits from my family…)
But, right now we are talking about Brotzeit.
What is Brotzeit
Brotzeit is two things.
1. Brotzeit comes in the morning, usually around 10am (right about the time that Yogurt and Muesli you ate is wearing off).
2. Brotzeit is something you can order or serve in the afternoon, when enjoying a Beer with friends. Maybe in a Biergarten, or on a weekend hike.
What you get to eat for Brotzeit might vary a bit from person to person/ place to place, but essentially you get a platter covered with delicious things… and some Rye Bread or a Pretzel (or TREE of Pretzels) to enjoy with it. Think a Charcuterie Board… but with a Bavarian Accent.
And if all goes according to plan, you also get beer. (Yes, even at 10am… )
Make a Brotzeit Board or Platter
A Brotzeit board is usually a wood platter covered with delicious things. It’s served with a basket containing breads.
In the Bread Basket
On the Brotzeit Board
You want something creamy to dip or spread onto a pretzel or piece of bread.
Obatzda – a creamy cheese dip made with cheese and beer
Griebenschmalz- rendered pork fat with cracklings
Quark Dip- Quark (or plain Greek yogurt) mixed with Ricotta cheese, fine chopped fresh herbs & chopped green onion, salt and pepper.
I can see some of you starting to panic. It’s just a few vegetables to make things crunchy. YOU CAN actually have vegetarian Brotzeit!
Radishes– small red ones whole – sprinkle with salt
Radi or Beer Radish – a spiral sliced Daikon Radish sprinkled with salt
Tomato– whole cherry tomato or sliced fresh Tomato (salz or Tomatensalz)
Bavarian Sweet Mustard or your Favorite Other Mustard
Order What You Need for Brotzeit
Get Ideas for a Unique or Festive Brotzeit Platter