The German word "Butterbrot" (literally: butterbread = bread with butter) describes a slice of bread topped with butter or margarine, almost always with another "ingredient" (e.g., jam or a slice of cheese) on top. Although it is increasingly replaced by other foods, it remains a common staple food in Germany.
A butterbrot is commonly a single slice of bread and one "ingredient" on top of the butter or margarine. For breakfast, this ingredient tends to be sweet and can be marmalade, jam, honey or chocolate spread/hazelnut spread. For dinner (German-speaking countries traditionally eat only one cooked meal per day) or as boxed lunch, and sometimes also for breakfast, the butterbrot is eaten with something hearty, usually a single slice of cold meat or cheese, or sometimes spreads etc. Boxed lunch butterbrot can be folded for easier handling and as such resembles the sandwich.
The derivatives of the British sandwich and the butterbrot of the German-speaking countries differ in some ways: The butterbrot is usually made from the typical bread types of German-speaking countries, which are much firmer than English bread. One popular type is Graubrot (grey bread), which has a sour taste and contains rye, due to the use of sourdough as a leavening agent.