In Denmark, model ships hang in every church, as if to remind parishioners to give thanks for the fruits of the sea. Fish, particularly herring, is still a mainstay, commonly smoked, salted or pickled.
Traditional Danish food included lots of pork, butter and dairy products, but Danes today lean towards a lighter, healthier diet, inspired by modern Scandinavian cuisine.
Sandwiches and sausages
Denmark us a synonymous with smørrebrød, for which it seems there are as many toppings as tastebuds. Liver pâté, shrimp, herring, caviar, smoked salmon, roast pork and steak tartare are combined with pickles, jams, remoulade and herbs in a kaleidoscope of culinary deliciousness. Specialist smørrebrød restaurants usually open at lunchtime.
Bacon makes up over 5 percent of Denmark’s exports, but not all pork products are sent abroad. Danes wisely keep the tastiest for themselves; salami, crackling roast pork and frikadeller are national institutions. The last (perfect comfort food) are fried meatballs, usually made from minced pork, served with potato salad and pickled red cabbage. Sausages are popular, with each region having its own specialty – in south Jutland ølpølse (beer sausage) is a tasty snack at the local butcher. Blood sausage, blodpølse, appears around Christmas time. The pølsevogn (sausage wagon) is a common sight around Danish towns, a cheap place to pick up a lurid rød pølse (red hotdog).
Danish pastry (wienerbrød) is famous for a reason. Visit a bakery and try rich, chewy “chocolate snail” pastries, layered cream cakes or a waffle cone filled with ice cream, marshmallow topping and marmalade. Scandinavians have a peculiar love of salty liquorice, found in its strongest form in Denmark.
Food and Drink in Denmark, written by Tor Kjolberg