Hello, and welcome to your virtual tour of world cuisine!
We’ll start with Denmark’s delicious dishes.
Danish food is centered on sweets, sweets, sweets.
Here, we have Danish Æbleskiver (Danish Pancake Balls) which are actually quite easy to bake. In this certain recipe, it only takes ten ingredients, a little shopping, and 15 minutes to bake. This Danish dessert is served in many Danish-American homes. IKEA is one cafe/store where you can purchase many Scandinavian foods.
A special pan is needed for the best results. Even though new pans are available, many cooks favor the old cast-iron pans, which are handed down from generation to generation. You can get them at several Scandinavian specialty stores, or just order them online.
In Denmark, Æbleskiver is served as a dessert with sugar or marmalade. On the island of Aero, well within Denmark’s diverse archipelago, a thin sliver of prune is slipped into the Æbleskiver as they are cooked. There are many different recipes, but this one seems the easiest to follow, and uses very little ingredients.
We now come to liquorice, more commonly spelled licorice. Licorice root is one of the most popular herbs in the world. The botanical name licorice comes from the Greek word *γλυκóρριζα, meaning sweet root. I have to admit, not having much experience in gardening, I did tons of research.
Licorice is a perennial herb. Like all plants, herbs can be categorized into three groups, annual, perennial, and biennial. Annual herbs live for only a season and so must be planted back each spring. Annual herbs are just exactly what they sound like. Perennials live for several years. Their foliage, or greenery, dies way back in the fall, but the roots plant themselves firmly underground over the winter and resume growth the following spring.
Licorice is truly my personal favorite root to eat. Yum!
Danish people absolutely love licorice. They adore it so much that they manufacture all sorts of licorice foods, such as licorice beer, ice cream, chocolate, fudge, mints, and of course, the licorice candy itself.
We now move on to our next featured delicacy, the lingonberry. The lingonberry is a commonly used berry in Scandinavian foods. It is importantly used as jam, juice, sauce, and of course, the fresh berry itself. It is cooked, baked, pressed, squeezed, juiced, sprinkled, and sauteed. There are many uses for this tart treat.
The berries contain plentiful organic acids, vitamin C, pro vitamin A (as beta carotene), B vitamins (B1, B2, B3), and the elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. In addition to these nutrients, they also contain phytochemicals that are thought to counteract urinary-tract infections, and the seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
I also love to eat lingonberries!
Then, of course, there is the famous hot-dog stand. Hot-dog stand? I thought that was American! Well, it wasn’t. The first hot dog stand established in Denmark saw the light of day in Copenhagen on the glorious year of 1921. It has been feeding hungry Danes for over 90 years. The first hot dog stands used kerosene burners or camping stoves to cook the hot dogs, an invention that made a huge difference in how the streets looked. Now there were food trucks, coffee stands, mobile restaurants, and more.
Not all Danes liked the new trend, and a city council member argued that it would be highly unsightly to have people eating hot dogs in the open.
But the people embraced the new fast food, even though a hot dog did cost roughly a quarter of an average hour’s salary at the time. It sure wasn’t fancy dining, but it sure was expensive.
There are a lot of dishes from the olden days that the Danes still eat today. Among them are the øllebrød (a platter made with rye bread, sugar and non-alcoholic beer), vandgrød (usually a barley porridge, made with water), gule ærter (mm, split pea soup), æbleflæsk (slices of pork with apples fried in the fat), klipfisk (dried cod [I love fish!]), blodpølse (yuck, black pudding!), finker (like haggis) and grønlangkål (thickened stewed kale, which I might try sometime).
My New Goal: Taste all of the things on this blog post (even yucky black pudding!)
*pronounced [gly – kor – ree – zuh]