I’m pretty sure that many of us have heard of or maybe even tasted some delicious traditional meals that originate from foreign countries. Germany has the Schnitzel, England has the fish&chips and Japan has sushi – just to mention some of these legendary dishes.
But what are the Danes’ favourite home-made bites?
The History Of Danish Cooking
Danish cooking mostly consisted of peasant dishes before the 1860 Industrial Revolution. These meals were based on the necessity of using products available on or near the family farm – bread, fish, pork, cabbages and potatoes.
As a result of industrialization, there was an increase in the consumption of fresh meat and vegetables, however rye bread’s and potatoes’ popularity didn’t go downhill.
With the spread of the wood-burning stove and meat grinder usage, a new variety of dishes were introduced such as meat balls, roast pork or breaded flatfish.
In the 1960s, as Danes travelled more frequently and widely across the globe, the concept of fast food arrived due to the interest in Mediterranean dishes and the availability of frozen goods. In the 90s, ingredients were imported from the south and new products were farmed at home – providing a base for the development of gourmet dishes.
With the 2004 start of the culinary movement, New Nordic Cuisine, local, natural and seasonal products were promoted as a basis for new dishes in restaurants and at home. The movement, led by the Nordic countries, resulted in a large number of restaurants – especially in Denmark – introducing local ingredients in a combination with traditional foods, sort of reinventing the dishes.
Meals In Denmark
Sharing meals plays an important part in family life, allowing for socializing and contributing to a sense of well-being and cosiness (hygge). Many families follow the traditions of parents cooking together and teaching their children recipes.
Most Danes have 3 meals a day. These usually consist of breakfast, a cold lunch at work and a hot dinner at home.
The basic breakfast means rye or white bread with cheese or jam and a cup of coffee or tea.
As for lunch, most Danes have a quick bite in a cafeteria or eat their packed lunch brought from home. This cold meal consists of simple elements, like pieces of smørrebrød (open sandwiches) with cold cuts.
Dinner is the only meal when every family member is present and they can socialize over a nice hot meal. It’s usually a one-course meal, often a meat dish with potatoes and a salad or vegetable.
The Most Famous Danish Food And Beverages
It’s safe to say that one of the most famous Danish classics is the „open-faced” sandwich, the smørrebrød. It’s a slice of rye bread with different combinations of toppings like pickled herring or roast beef or eggs with mayo and shrimp.
A somewhat surprising popular food in Denmark is the hot dog. Vendors have been selling them from stands on the street and feeding the hungry passerbys for over a century now. You can find traditional sausages and modern versions in these stands.
The dish, voted as the national dish of Denmark is fried pork belly with potatoes and parsley sauce, or in Danish „stegt flæsk med persillesovs”. It’s a dish that has been in the hearts of Danes for a long time. Click here if you would like to make it yourself!
If you would be craving something sweet, the æblekage might just be what you’re looking for. The Danish apple trifle is a lovely dessert that’s easy to make. What makes this dessert such a success? The perfect balance of apple sauce, breadcrumbs and whipped cream. Here’s the recipe for this old-fashioned, tasty trifle.
Many of us may have seen at some point in our lives the blue tin full of Danish butter cookies, from the brand Royal Dansk. If you would like to make a batch of these delicious cookies, click here.
Cocio is a Danish chocolate milk invented in Esbjerg. The drink gets its perfect flavour from the milk from Danish farms, sugar and African cocoa.
As for alcoholic beverages, one of the most popular drinks worldwide is the Carlsberg beer. The brewery was founded in 1847 by JC Jacobsen. Unfortunately, the brewery can’t be visited due to ongoing renovation and modernization, it’s planned to reopen in the Summer of 2023 to welcome those interested.