Food Danish People Like

Do you know those websites about “Stuff (insert race, gender, religion, etc.) People Like?” If you don’t, then you’re missing out on some very funny, though sometimes slightly offensive, humor. I’ve read my fair share of these lists, and they’ve inspired me to create my own list of food that Danish people like. Why? Because, like I mentioned my previous post about New Years’ Resolutions, this is a very healthy society that does a lot of things well when it comes to nutrition. But they’re not perfect! They also have their nutrition downfalls and weak points, and if I’m honest, I have to admit that some of their less-than-healthy foods are among my favorites! Let’s take a look at some of the Danes’ favorite things:

The Healthy Ones:

Bread, especially rye bread:

20130127_151201It’s not quite the same as the rye bread we eat  in the USA… instead it’s a thick, coarse, dense bread made with whole grains.  It doesn’t rise much during baking.  In fact it looks more like a black brick than a loaf of bread. But it’s very healthy and filling, especially when it’s loaded with healthy toppings and eaten as “smørrebrød.” [See below]

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Smørrebrød: An open-faced sandwich made on rye bread. Toppings can vary widely but usually include a combination of deli meats, pickled fish, cheese, lettuce, vegetables, hardboiled eggs, and condiments. When it comes to these toppings, the Danes generally believe that you can never have too much of a good thing! But the key to keeping it healthy is to go easy on the meat and cheese while piling on the veggies instead.

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Fish: This makes sense given that Denmark is nearly surrounded by water. They love all types, but a special favorite is pickled herring. Sounds delicious, right?

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Pork: It’s not quite as logical as the fish fetish, but it’s true! There are more pigs in Denmark than humans, and as a result pork is one of the cheapest and most commonly consumed meats. Bacon doesn’t exactly top the list of healthiest foods, but a nice pork chop is a decent choice!

Sushi and Kebabs: This one surprised me. I didn’t expect Denmark to be a hot spot for delicious sushi or kebabs, but the multiple restaurants around the corner from my apartment proved me wrong!

Potatoes: They join the ranks of the Germans, Irish, Russians, and other Europeans who LOVE their potatoes. No surprise there.

The Other Ones:  (I’m not saying they’re “bad,” but I don’t recommend chowing down on these foods every day either! I like to think of them as “once-in-a-while” foods.)

Beer, and alcohol in general: The Danes are known for their drinking habits, and from my observations this reputation seems to be grounded in truth. Maybe it’s a way to battle the cold winters?

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 Rød grød med fløde:

I’d translate the name of this food if I could, but unfortunately it’s not really possible. This dessert is basically a fruit compote/jelly/Jello substance served with whipped cream. Sounds and looks questionable, but tastes great!

 

 

 

 

 

Flødeboller: Another dessert dish. These are basically giant chocolate-dipped marshmallows, and they’re often topped with sprinkles, nuts, caramel sauce, or other sweet toppings. 20130128_131320

Licorice: I’m not a fan, so I haven’t sampled many of the available licorice-flavored foods, but I do know that the licorice ice cream is a favorite among kids!

Remoulade: A mayonnaise-based sauce that tastes similar to tartar sauce. It’s eaten with many types of meats as well as French fries.

Hot dogs: I don’t know why, but they love these suckers! Especially if they’re loaded with ketchup, mustard, remoulade sauce [see above], pickles, onions, and even sauerkraut.

A Bonus Like:  Here’s something else the Danes like—taxes! Okay, so maybe they don’t really like taxes, but they certainly live with them, and there’s one nutrition-related tax that doesn’t seem so awful in my opinion. The Danish government places an extra tax on sugar-containing foods (ex: soda, candy, and pastries) as well as butter and oil. For example, a 20 oz Coke usually costs about 24 Kroner or $4.00! Wow. They mean business.

This tax is not 100% effective because some Danes drive across the border to buy their treats in Germany or Sweden, while others are willing to pay the high prices for their pleasures. But there’s no doubt that it does at least deter some people from buying excessively sugary products, and in my books that qualifies as a success! Now the question is whether or not it would it work in America?

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