It is confession time. I have lived here over seven years and feel I have embraced Danish life pretty well yet there are some very traditional Danish foods I have never had the desire or guts to try (in fact there are more that I think I will never tried). So in the name of research I headed to Irma and Netto to stock up on these items and give them the taste test.First up was tartelets filled with chicken and vegetables in a creamy sauce. The tarelets themselves are inoffensive- the Danish version of vol au vents. I am imagine them filled with a very retro mix of prawns and thousand island dressing and being delicious. Whilst it is traditional to use prawns in them here too but with the chicken, the most popular filling is just chicken and vegetables in a creamy sauce. My husband sometimes gets these in his work canteen and everyone goes crazy for them. The girl in Netto also told me that they are super popular with all ages and the Beauvais tin of chicken mix was the best prepared stuff I could get. So I bought it. The gloop that slithered out of the tin was not an appetising sight, I warmed it and the tartelets up as per the instructions, assembled the meal and added little half tomatoes as the Netto girl suggested artfully on the top.
Now before we get to the taste test here is what the tin says about the dish – “Tartelets are the most loved Danish classic both for everyday or parties. Beauvais use the traditional recipe of chicken, peas, parsley and carrots.”
Verdict – the tartlets were lovely and crispy with a nice taste and I would say that they are a great vol au vent substitute. The best I can say about the mix inside was it didn’t taste as bad as it looked. My husband ate three and a half of the four I prepared and said they were nothing like the ones he gets at work but he was hungry. Next time I will find my own recipes and avoid the prepared stuff. Potential a nice thing to eat if made from scratch.
Next up was Wasa crisp breads, which have been in production since 1919 in Sweden. There is, for Denmark, a large selection of these in all supermarkets and seem to be popular. They are wholewheat and supposedly very good for you. I have always shied away from them as I thought they looked like they would taste of cardboard. I looked at the picture on the box for inspiration so bought a wedge of Danish blue cheese to have with them.
Verdict: These were actually very tasty, crispy and not at all like cardboard. I shall definitely have these again – the blue cheese was a bit powerful so a little less of that next time I think.Finally there is skyr and A38, two types of yoghurt. I will confess that up until about a month ago I had never had skyr but after trying it in Brødflov I am a convert. It is a thick, slightly sour yoghurt and great with something sweet like lemon curd and something crunchy like muesli. It is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yogurt. It has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years.
A38 on the other hand is a runnier, more sharp fermented dairy product with acidophilus culture and has been around in Denmark since 1920. You can buy it with various levels of fat content and also with flavours but I plumped for the plain low fat version. I prepared it in the same way as the skyr above and popped a few blueberries on the top.
Verdict – Skyr is delicious and a great breakfast. A38 on the other hand was far too sharp and runny for my liking, I may try it again perhaps a fruit flavoured version. However it is undoubtedly a healthy addition to your everyday diet.
So I enjoyed trying new things and I was pleased that on the whole they were new healthy additions to my everyday diet.