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Eating in Denmark

Eating in Denmark

I grew up in Flensburg, Germany, just a short drive away from Denmark and on weekends we used to drive over the border to get a Danish hotdog. Why would we do it? Germany has the best sausages in the whole world and to tell the truth the Danish hotdog sausages don’t look very appealing at first sight, they are red, who wants to eat a red sausages? But then you try your first one and you are hooked for life! The danish hotdog is served in a bread roll with sweet remoulade, pickles and fried, crispy onions and it just tastes divine!

If you go out for breakfast and don’t want to start your day with a hotdog you should be aware that the danish breakfast is pretty simple. Rye or wheat bread with butter and jam or cheese, small round, flat or crescent-shaped wheat rolls, which in Denmark are made of bread dough and can be bought fresh-baked almost anywhere in the country every day of the week, corn flakes, muesli or oatmeal.

At lunch time most Danes eat the famous smørrebrød, which consists usually of a slice of rye bread with whatever your heart desires on top of it. It can be as simple as butter and a slice of cheese or as elaborated as having the slice of bread topped with a delicious potato salad (kartoffelmad) or all kinds of seafood, especially herring or salmon in all forms of preparation. When eating your smørrebrød just make sure to use your fork and knife if you want to avoid unpleasant accidents.

Dinner is the one meal where the family eats together at home, so it is a warm meal consisting of some kind of meat or fish accompanied by potatoes and gravy. Pork is very popular in Denmark in all varieties like salted and smoked, hams, roasts, tenderloin, cutlets and chops, but now people are also consuming more turkey, beef and veal than in previous years.

Should you be lucky enough to get invited for a special Christmas feast by a Danish family you will be in for a real treat. Christmas dinner is served on the 24th of December and in some homes consists of roast pork or flæskesteg, which is roasted in the oven with the skin cut through to the meat in strips thus providing more crispy crackling. The side dish includes boiled potatoes and caramelized potatoes made with melted sugar and a clump of butter and as vegetables red cabbage.

Other families prefer goose and duck are filled with a stuffing of apple boats and prunes before roasting them in the oven. It is served with a brown sauce based on the broth obtained by boiling the heart, neck, liver and gizzard, thickened with a little fat from the bird, flour and sour cream. just like the pork, the duck or goose is served with two kinds of potatoes and red cabbage. And as a special treat after Christmas dinner you will get the famous Risalamande, a rice pudding traditionally served with hot or cold cherry sauce; it consists of mainly cold rice pudding with vanilla flavouring and chopped almonds. A Danish tradition is to put a whole almond in the bowl of pudding. The person who finds the whole almond will receive a present.

And of course when speaking about Danish food you can’t forget the Danish drinks. In Denmark you rarely drink cocktails or mixed drinks, the best way to celebrate is with a nice cold danish beer and one of their famous spirits like Aqvavit (or snaps) or Bitter (called Gammel Dansk).

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