A Guide to Danish Food
Sep 16 , 2011
Danish people believe in a concept known as hygge, which often refers to a warm and comfortable feeling. Danish food, from its preparation to its consumption, is believed to contribute to this warm fuzzy feeling. In fact, many Danish dishes are often very hearty, and could be described as “comfort food”.
Many people may find that Danish food may be very similar to the food in neighboring areas. Although it has been heavily influenced by countries such as France and Germany, however, it still manages to have its own unique taste. Many of the Danish dishes that you may spot on a restaurant menu while in Denmark, for instance, will have a distinct Danish feel and taste.
Open faced sandwiches in Denmark are often referred to as smørrebrød, and they are usually considered to be a signature Danish food. While they are usually eaten as a lunch item, they can also be eaten during other meals or for snacks.
A traditional smørrebrød usually starts with a piece of dark, buttered rye bread. Several different toppings can then be piled on. Some toppings may include cold cuts, smoked fish, and vegetables, such as cucumbers and tomatoes. Condiments are also usually added.
Large groups of people, either families or restaurant patrons, will often begin the construction of this Danish food by passing a large platter or plate with buttered rye bread. Another platter, which contains a variety of different toppings, is passed after it. Each person at the table will take a piece of bread and choose any desired toppings. They are then able to make their own smørrebrød any way they please.
Herring is another popular Danish food. This fish can be found in the cold waters off the coast of Denmark, and it is enjoyed throughout the year during many meals. In fact, it is a popular addition to a smørrebrød.
This type of fish can prepared or preserved in a number of different ways. Although it can be cooked right into a dish, it is usually pickled, marinated, or smoked. Pickled or marinated herring has been around for centuries, and it is one of the oldest Danish foods. Smoked herring is also popular, and some herring is flavored with strong spices, like curry.
Herring is a very greasy fish, and remnants of oil can linger in your mouth after eating it. To prevent this, many Danish people sip on schnapps or aquavit. The alcohol content in these drinks helps to break up and remove some of the oil from the mouth, so other foods can be tasted and enjoyed.
This phrase literally means "red sausage" in Danish, and that's exactly what it is. They are typically long, skinny, and bright red. Unlike a hot dog in America, this Danish food is typically served alongside a piece of bread, not on one. Mustard, ketchup, and a type of relish are also served on the side, and diners can dip their sausages and bread into these condiments before eating them.
Although red sausages may be served at restaurants and in family kitchens, they are also commonly found being served by street vendors. These vendors often serve the sausages out of something called a pøsevogn, or "sausage wagon", which are typically portable, more often than not.
Your Danish food crash course is complete. Now check out some Copenhagen restaurants.