Danish Food Culture & Culinary Heritage

*A Part of the Danish Cultural Heritage*
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A Delicious Taste of Denmark
 
 
 
Glimpse of traditional Danish Food Culture!
Delicious Danish Slow food - Fast food & "Smørrebrød"
 
 
Come to Denmark - and have an appetizing taste of everything!
 
Apple Pork - "Æbleflæsk" - A genuine and traditional everyday dish and meal in Denmark
"Æbleflæsk” - Apple Pork - is one of the oldest Danish dishes from the middle of the 18th century - and was originated from the rural country kitchens located in different regions in Denmark. The Apple Pork recipe is a genuine Danish National Dish - and one of the Danes favourite pork specialities. See: Apple Pork Recipe
 
 
Danish Food Culture at a Glance
 
Danish Food Culture
Frikadeller & Hygge - the Danes favourite dish garnished with Danish Cosiness. See: Frikadelle
Danish Food Culture
Danish food culture and culinary heritage - has been cultivated and improved for many generations - and is mainly originated from the old Danish country kitchen - with roots way back to the Viking Era - leaving loads of ancient food recipes from all over the Danish Kingdom - created first and foremost - as a shield to protect the Danes against the cold weather conditions in Denmark. That’s why the Danes for centuries have eaten a lot of meat - especially loads of pork - but also beef together with plenty of potatoes and vegetables. Poultry and fish products are the Danes second choice. The cold and often wet climate in Denmark requires a lot of food with high nutritional values that contains many vitamins - minerals and proteins to mobilise a great potion of energy - which is a vital source - needed for work - at school - for sports and other form of daily activities - when living in a dynamic and modern society like Denmark that demands plenty of individual energy and human recourses every day. And the Danes are one of the most Pork Eating & Exporting Countries in the World.

Luncheon and Dinner traditions

The Danish luncheon and dinner habits and traditions vary from region to region - and from rural and provincial areas contra metropolitan and city areas in Denmark. In the rural areas luncheon often are hots meals and cold cuts with rye bread "Smørrebrød" in the evening - while eating customs in the metropolitan and city areas are opposite.
 
 
Three important meals every day plus snacks
The Danes daily eating habits consists of 3 healthy daily meals plus some snacks in between to generate plenty of energy and drive to outlive themselves during a quite pulsating and hectic day - and that applies to all ages. Breakfast (morgenmad) - lunch (frokost) and dinner (aftensmad) - plus snacks (mellemmåltid) - is consumed in hundreds ways and variations from region to region together with a lot of water - dairy products - beverages - hot drinks and alcoholic drinks.
 
 
Danish "Smørrebrød" - Open Faced Sandwich
 
Danish Open Faced Sandwich & Danish "Smørrebrød"
Almost every Danish restaurant in Copenhagen serve the traditional "open faced sandwich" called "smørrebrød" - with many different potions of food items as cold cuts - pieces of meat or fish - various paste - salad dressings and cheese on buttered rye bread and decorated with all types of toppings that gives the creation a great visual appeal - and is surely a piece of genuine art - when presented on a well laid table with cold Danish beer and snaps. “Smørrebrød” is normally served together with the famous Danish beer and snaps.
 
Everyday "Smørrebrød" with Flat Toppings
Danish "smørrebrød" also called "open faced sandwich" - here presented in the everyday version. Rye bread with flat toppings and spread: Liver paste with salted meat - gravy jelly - cucumber and onions. Shrimps with mayonnaise and parsley. Eggs with shrimps - mayonnaise and chives. Salami with gravy jelly and red onions. Chicken salad with tomato and parsley. Rolled stuffed pork with gravy jelly - red onions and chives.

 
 
"Smørrebrød" has many types of topping creations
Each Open Faced Sandwich is a genuine Masterpiece of Art
 
 
"Smørrebrød" is Rye Bread - Butter and Toppings
"Smørrebrød" is Rye Bread - Butter and Toppings. The secret making Danish “Smørrebrød” (open faced sandwiches) is - that the rye bread with butter has to be totally covered with the basic entrées of either vegetables - seafood or meat choices - and then the many types of tasty topping creations - which altogether is in great harmony with the rest of all the delicious food items on the sandwich. Here are 3 versions of popular everyday "Smørrebrød" on rye bread - Tomato - Ham and Egg and Potato - all pieces garnished and flavoured with various vegetables - seasonings and dressings.
 
 
 
Delicious Marinated Herring
Delicious Marinated Herring. Preservation of fish has been known and used since the Viking era for more than thousand years - and salt and vinegar was the based ingredients to preserve fish. Here is the popular and national old timer - the marinated herring - as an open faced sandwich.
 
 
 
Tatar - Beef Tatar
Beef Tatar on Rye Bread. (Beef Tatare) A classic example of a high topped Danish "Smørrebrød" - open faced sandwich - and a genuine piece of art with high-quality raw minced meat from the fillet of beef on thick rye bread and butter - lettuce - raw egg yoke - raw onions and capers - jelly gravy and horseradish - sour beetroot and cucumber. Some like the dish added with pickles. Beef Tatar is a real rustic open faced sandwich and treat.
 
 
 
Roastbeef and Salted Meat - Smørrebrød
Roast Beef and Salted Meet on Rye Bread. Here are two classic pieces of "Smørrebrød" - Open Faced Sandwiches. Roast Beef with curry dressing on lettuce and cucumber - sprinkled with spring onions. And Salted Meat on Liver Paste - which is spread over a base of lettuce and cucumber - and sprinkled with spring onions - plus topped with a thick slice of jelly gravy. The Salted Meat and Liver Paste "smørrebrød" is better known by the Danes as the “Veterinarians Night Snack Sandwich”. (Dyrelægens Natmad)
 
 
 
"Stjerneskud" - Shooting Star - The Danes Favourite “Smørrebrød”
”Stjerneskud” - Shooting Star is the Danes favourite “Smørrebrød - Open Faced Sandwich. The “Stjerneskud" is a Danish Classic on the “Smørrebrød” menu - and the most selected and eaten open faced sandwich in Denmark. This popular “Smørrebrød” consist of a base of buttered rustic rye bread - two pieces of battered plaice fillets (rødspætte) - a piece of steamed white fish rolled. On top is piled a mound of fine fresh shrimps - which is then decorated with a dollop of remoulade - black or red caviar - and nicely cut lemon slices. Then a piece of salmon rolled around green asparagus - cucumber - tomato slices and lettuce. Finally - a boiled egg divide into half’s´- and fresh dill. These are the main ingredients to prepare a “Stjerneskud” the Danish way. As fish was a very common eating in the 1850s - the “Stjerneskud” became one of the very first popular luncheon specialities in the restaurants around 1880 - and the delicious toppings were stacked on top of each other - as the “Stjerneskud” recipes was created up trough the 20th century - and is today the Danes favourite piece of “Smørrebrød”.
 
 
 
Roasted Pork Open Sandwich - “Smørrebrød med flæskesteg”
Delicious Roasted Pork open sandwich - “Flæskesteg Smørrebrød” is a Danish classic open sandwich on every luncheon table - and a must treat for the Danes on Rye Bread with butter - fresh lettuce - juicy roasted pork slices with crispy pork cracklings - and garnished with pickled red cabbage and pickled cucumbers. This Roasted Pork open sandwich - “Smørrebrød med flæskesteg” is one of the oldest open sandwiches in Denmark - and is eaten everyday by the Danes in different variations especially at luncheon time all year round.
 
 
 
Robert Storm Petersen
Danish Food Quotes:

"The impracticality of eating cold duck is that it has to be roasted first!"
(Det upraktiske ved kold and er - at den skal steges først!)

Robert Storm Petersen - Danish Cartoonist - Writer - Animator - Humorist - 1882-1949
 
 
"Frikadelle" & "Stegt Flæsk" - National Dishes
 
Frikadelle
"Frikadelle" is an Old Danish national dish from 1648 and the first recipe of this delicious dish dates back to 1837. The meatballs are made of pure pork - and served with potatoes - pickled beetroot - sour preserved cucumber and thick brown sauce.
"FRIKADELLE"
The Danish Pork Dish

The Danish "Frikadelle" is a national dish served with potatoes - preserved sour vegetables and thick brown sauce.

The first recipe of this delicious dish is dated back to 1837 - but the name "Frikadelle" (pure pork) is already recorded in the beginning of the 16th century.

In a cookbook from 1648 a similar "Frikadelle" dish is mentioned.

The Danes just love their "Frikadelle" and eat the meal all year round as a main everyday and traditional dish.


"Frikadelle" is the Danes favourite dish beside the national awarded dish "Stegt Flæsk" - both based on pork meat.

See: Frikadelle - Stegt Flæsk
 
 
Victor Borge
Danish Food Quotes:

How to boil a three-minute egg?

"Bring a piano into the kitchen - and play the Minute Waltz* three times!"
("Hvordan koger man et blødkogt æg på tre minutter? - Anbring et klaver i køkkenet og spil minutvalsen tre gange"!)

Victor Borge - Famous Danish Entertainer - Comedian - Conductor and Pianist - 1909-2000

*The Minute Waltz was composed by Frédéric Chopin for solo piano in 1847 - and dedicated to the Countess Delfina Potocka.
 
 
 
Danish Buffet Extravaganza
 
"Det Store kolde bord" - Buffet Extravaganza
Dishes from the "Store kolde bord" - The grand cold table - a Danish buffet style table. Here you can eat as much as you can and can really get stuffed.
 
"Det Store kolde bord"
The buffet style lunch called "Store kolde bord" - "The grand Cold Table" - offers a large selection of toppings for "smørrebrød" ranging from herrings - fish - seafood - meet - salami - liver paste - salads - cheeses etc. - so guests can make their own type of decorative "open faced sandwiches" at the table. Many luncheon restaurants often located below street level in cosy surrounding offers old Danish homemade specialities.

Christmas - Easter and Whitsun
It is a custom in Denmark - and has been a tradition for many decades and generations that "Det Store Kolde Bord" is served for family gatherings to celebrate Christmas - Easter and Whitsun holidays. The buffet style lunch is a feast with all the warm and cold cuts that are necessary to prepare a genuine piece of rye bread with ones favourite toppings. It good practise to start with all the fish dishes like eel - marinated herring -fried fish filets etc. - then comes all the many different meat dishes and at last all the cheeses - and finally something for the sweet tooth. Beer and snaps is the preferred drink to these festive food dishes.

 
 
Recipes in English
See Danish Specialities with Recipes in English
Here are a selection of recipes of old Danish National - as well as Traditional everyday dishes - which is easy to prepare with the basic elements that are possible to buy abroad. Every recipe has a history - and has been a popular meal for Danes over several generations.

See: Recipes
 

 
Top Image
P.S. Krøyer and “Hip Hip Hurra”
 
“Hip Hip Hurra”
Painted by P.S. Krøyer in 1888.
P.S. Krøyer and “Hip Hip Hurra”

The painting displayed on top - and illustrating Danish Food Culture is painted by master painter P.S. Krøyer in 1888 - who is one of the most colourful of the Skagen Painters. The Skagen Painters - was a famous community of Danish and Nordic artists who lived - gathered and worked in Skagen in the 19 century. Skagen is the most northern point of Denmark.

The painting is called The Artist Feast - “Hip Hip Hurra” - and shows the colony of painters - who worked in Skagen that have gathered in a garden for a celebration - and are toasting in the company of each other with genuine and strong Danish Akvavit called "Snaps" in their glasses.

From left to right: Martha Johansen - painter Viggo Johansen - Norwegian painter Christian Krohg - P.S. Krøyer - Degn Brøndum (Anna Ancher's brother) - Michael Ancher - Swedish painter Oscar Björck - Danish painter Thorvald Niss - teacher Helene Christensen - Danish painter Anna Ancher and Helga Ancher.

The original painting is owned by Göteborgs Konstmuseum - but is a part of the Danish Cultural Heritage. The Painting was sold by P.S. Krøyer in 1888 to the Swedish painter Pontus Furstenberg for 5.000 DKK - who later donated his art collection to the Art Museum in Gothenburg. The painting has been exhibited several times in Denmark and today the painting is worth 12-15 million DKK.

 
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