I love exploring supermarkets in new countries and it is fascinating to see new foods. One thing I noticed about Danish food when I first moved here was how salty it was. My palate soon aclimatised to the extent that I complained in a chain pasta restaurant in the UK that their risotto was under seasoned! Another thing, especially if you come from the UK, is that jars of beetroot and red cabbage are usually not pickled – still a great disappointment to me, even though I enjoy the Danish versions.
So when researching this post, I took a wander around Irma and snapped a few things that I think are pretty unique to Denmark.
(Starting top left and going clockwise)
Herring is a very traditional Danish food and can be found in jars in all the supermarkets. There are various versions including one in a mild curry dressing but the most common in marinated in spices and vinegar. It is a bit like a rollmop but not quite. The texture is a bit more meaty and it is less vinegary. Enjoy on rugbrød with a glass of snaps.
Still on the fish theme, are fiskfrikedeller or fish balls. They are almost entirely fish, not padded out with bread or potatoes and usually are cod or salmon. They are often eaten cold and children love them in their pack lunch boxes. I usually fry them in a little butter for my son.
Next up are little tubs of what I call wet salads. There is a vast array of these and they are more than just potato salads and coleslaw. I have picked two of my favourites here – Wiener Salat, which is basically potato salad with chopped up cocktail sausages and Pickles, the closest you can find to picallily.
Another pålæg (or sandwich topping) very unique to Denmark is rullepølse – literally translated as rolled sausage – this is flattened, rolled pork belly with herbs in the roll, boiled, pressed into a rectangle shape and thinly sliced as sandwich meat.
Finally two things I have never been brave enough to try but will certainly catch your eye as they are sold in plastic sausage like tubes. First is Forloren Skildpadde or Mock Turtle Soup. This is a thick soup with calves meat and served with hard boiled eggs. The second is meatballs and rice in a curry sauce. I have no more to add on this one. I can only assume they are delicious and I am missing out by not trying them but I am yet to see anyone buying them.
Finally some sweet treats. Although you can see this other times of the year, Køldskål is a typically summer dessert of buttermilk, eggs and lemon served chilled with little biscuits (kammerjunker) floating in it and sometimes strawberries. I love it.
The finally pålæg I have chosen to write about is these delightfully retro boxes of thin chocolate slices which you eat on top of a slice of bread for breakfast.