Danish Cuisine

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What is danish food?

When thinking of European cuisine, Danish food does not come to mind. The more prominent ones would be French or Italian; easily identifiable foods. So what is ‘Danish food’?

The most famous Danish dish is called Smørrebrød. This dish is basically a faceless sandwich with a variety of toppings. The bread is usually rye bread and what goes on it depends on what the restaurant, has but it’s normally some type of seafood and comes with a side of potatoes. This is not a sandwich you eat with your hands! You use a fork and a knife because it doesn’t have a piece of bread on the top of it. I have mixed feelings about Smørrebrød because I am not a fan of seafood but I have had some really nice ones with steak on it instead. There are fancy Smørrebrød restaurants and some more casual ones depending on what you’re looking for.

The next dish is called Stegt flæsk. This is also a traditional meal that dates back in Danish history because it is basically fried pork. It’s normally served with potatoes and in my opinion, can end up being a bit salty on its own. I have found that pork is served in many variations in Denmark so this is very popular. I have noticed that this dish tastes a lot like bacon. Just a note on the potatoes, however, they are not served hot/warm. This threw me off guard as potatoes are normally served in such a way but not in Denmark!

This is not a specific dish, but there is a lot of seafood served here in Denmark. Some of the more prominent ones would be herring or oysters. Herring is commonly served on Smørrebrød but it can be cooked up in various ways. I have also found many types of fish served on sandwiches and in meatballs (Danish meatballs are different from American ones!).

Once again, this is not a specific dish per se, but pastries are an important part of danish identity. There are bakeries, pastry shops, and coffee houses that all have impeccable food which is perfect for those with a sweet tooth. My top favorite pastry that I had in Denmark was the Hindbærsnitte. This pastry is a pink square full of happiness and sugar. More specifically, it is a raspberry shortbread treat that pairs well with tea. My second favorite pastry which I got so often my friends began to notice, is the Tebirkes. This is a very popular pastry that can be identified by its poppy seed topping. The pastry itself is flaky and buttery and is filled with remonce. To be honest, I did not know what ‘Remonce’ was until I looked it up for this post, but some of the more prominent flavors included in remonce are marzipan or cinnamon. Another iconic pastry is Spandauer which is a buttery, flaky, pastry with a custard filling. I have found these in the United States before, but the custard in Denmark has a better and richer flavor (in my opinion). Lastly, I had a lot of cinnamon buns while here. In Denmark, they are called Kanelsnegl, or Cinnamon snail. Every time I had a cinnamon bun while in Copenhagen I was never disappointed. The sugar glaze and cinnamon filling had great proportions and were almost always warm when I got them.