By Carl Hanson

Brotzeit! For snack time, any time! Brotzeit (pronounced "BROTE zite") is the Bavarian style of nibbling various tasty morsels, preferably alongside refreshing German beers. Literally, Brotzeit means "bread time." But its figurative meaning could be better translated as "snacktastic!" It's the original snack board.

Basically, Brotzeit is a Bavarian snacking state of mind. My Opa would say, as he placed on his wooden Brotzeit board slices of fresh German rye bread, cheeses, and deli meats; dry summer sausages; possibly some assorted pickles; and always a large radish or two: "Brotzeit ist die beste Zeit."

And it's true: bread time really is the best time! Eating a few bites of many different foods is a real palate pleaser -- and offers a great way to experience Oktoberfest beer.

Photo by Getty Images

Of course, Brotzeit isn't just for Oktoberfest. In fact, once you go Brotzeit, you'll find it's a quick, satisfying way to enjoy lunch; you might even love it as a light evening meal on lazy weeknights. OK, let's do this...

Let's Build a Brotzeit Board

Here are 11 suggestions for your board (which, of course, could also be a plate). Artfully arrange these foods on your plate to create the best Oktoberfest pupu platter ever. Sehr gut! 

1. Rye Bread

Let's start with German Rye Bread and good butter, with a sprinkle of sea salt and maybe some chopped chives. Or if you prefer, Papa Drexler's Bavarian Pretzels.

2. Radishes

Radishes with a sprinkle of sea salt -- a truly stunning combination with a cold Bavarian Pils.

3. Boiled Eggs

Simple and delicious. Boiled Eggs. Or Deviled Eggs.

4. Deli Meats

Slices of Black Forest Ham, smoked ham, and/or other deli meats. Whatever floats your Brotzeit boat.

5. Sausages

The German sausage category is enormous -- there are more than 1,000 varieties of sausages in Germany -- but the list includes Frankfurters, Liverwurst, summer sausage, salami, and Vienna-style sausages.

Recipe: Chef John's Homemade Summer Sausage

6. Cheeses

A few slices of nutty Emmentaler or Swiss, Gouda, Münster, Havarti, maybe some triangles of soft Laughing Cow cheese.

7. Mustards

Honey mustard is a favorite condiment; great with sausages, deli meats, and cheeses, and as a dip for pretzels.

8. Tomatoes

If late September tomatoes are still full of glory where you live, include a few slices of fresh tomato topped with a sprinkle of sea salt and some chopped chives.

9. Pickled Foods

For the brave, this category might include a jar of pickled herring.

10. Exciting additions

Add as you like these totally non-Brotzeit-standard options: chutneysdeviled ham spreads ... even a slice of leftover meatloaf!

11. Beer

Refresh yourself! Reach for a Bavarian Pils, the light malty German lager -- or a Kölsch, the light aromatic ales. For a darker experience, try a rich malty Bock. Look here for more on beers and beer pairing.


Photo by Meredith

For more German recipes, check out our collection of German Recipes.

Related: Oktoberfest: 4 Savory Bites to Serve With German Beer