Pariserbøf Is An Inside-Out Burger

Forget smørrebrød and everything new Nordic. One of Denmark's favorite lunch traditions is about to blow your mind: It's called the pariserbøf, and it's basically an inside-out burger.

"Why have we never heard of this before?" you might ask. Maybe because the Danes don't automatically think viral when sitting down for lunch and don't freak out over "things inside of things" like some of us. (Guilty. as. charged.)

Or maybe it's simply because they forget to get excited about a dish that's such a long-standing national tradition that it takes an outsider (or crude American) to come along and freak out.

Whatever the reason, the pariserbøf is an under-the-radar sight to behold and an even better one to bite into.

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Ground meat is packed into a patty around a piece of French bread (hence the supposed origin of the dish's name), and the whole thing is panfried. The pattie is served with an egg yolk and capers, onions and horseradish on top, with an array of pickles, like pickled beetroot, on the side. (The Danes were even putting an egg on their burgers before that was a thing, too.) 

Rasmus Amdi Larsen from Restaurant Palægade, which serves pariserbøf made with fresh house-made sourdough bread to hungry lunch customers every day, says it's a common dish in the country. The origin of placing the bread inside, not outside, the meat?

"We simply don't know," Larsen says with a smile. "It's just the traditional way of doing it. Probably, as it is a very old dish, it was a way to use old bread to get it to soak up some of the juice from the meat."

Eating a burger with a knife and fork might sound like it belongs in an episode of Seinfeld, but this method lets you construct every bite to your liking. What's more, the egg yolk doesn't spill out onto your hands, but instead enriches the meat and the bread inside. As for that bread, if you don't like it soggy, you probably don't like French toast, or bread pudding, or panzanella, or anything else that is good and right in this world. So we can't help you there.

For those open to the next age of burger exploration, the pariserbøf is for you. And the beauty is that it's been hiding in plain sight all along.