Some of you at home have asked what the food is like here in Denmark, besides hot dogs and salad-pizzas and herring. (And yes, the Danish is fantastic.) So here’s a look at some of the meals we get at work as part of the company lunch program. One thing that stands out right away (besides how healthy it all is) is that every day it’s a Danish menu. There doesn’t seem to be anything like “today we’re having Chinese” or “today we’re having Italian.”
I also have to mention in advance that it’s a buffet, so that’s why each plate here is a collection of randomness. If it looks good, or different, or unfamiliar, I try it. So far, I’ve only found one thing that I wouldn’t go back to! (Mmmm beef-flavored jelly… nope). Apologies in advance for taking pictures of my plate, I felt weird about taking pics at the buffet tables…
Lunch 1: Lamb terrine, i.e. meatloaf. Topped with creepy beef-flavored jelly. The lamb meatloaf was very good, but I think I’d like mint jelly next time… Roasted potatoes, carrots, and parsnip. Cucumbers and liver pate (chopped liver, basically – love it!) on rugbrød – a dark, dense rye bread that’s very popular in Denmark. Brie cheese. Ham coldcuts (swinekød) and hard-boiled eggs.
Lunch 2: Oven-roasted celeriac. Not a vegetable I’ve had before. It’s a root vegetable like parsnip or carrot but it tastes like celery. Also: Mushrooms marinated in soy sauce and topped with sesame seeds. Olives. Parsley salad w/ lemon juice and pomegranate seeds.
Lunch 3: Fish balls. Kinda like crab cakes, but with fish. Topped with remoulade – that mayo sauce that’s everywhere in Denmark. Pan-fried celeriac w/ red pepper and cucumber. Roast beef and pickled pepper. Taters, precious. Rugbrød with ham and pesto.
Lunch 4: Danish-style beef pie (basically like a pot pie, with a flaky pastry crust). Pureed peas. Roast beef. Pasta with cucumber. Whole-grain bread with minced mackerel and caperberries. If you’ve never had caperberries before, you need to. They are delicious.
Lunch 6: Hash (diced potatoes and pork) topped with Bearnaise sauce. Baked hale (it’s a fish) with roasted fennel, topped with pureed Hokkaido squash. Pickled cucumbers (they’re milder than the typical pickles we get in the States). Whole-grain bread and blue cheese.
Lunch 7: Beef stew w/ corn on rice. Chicken-cauliflower cakes with beet tzatziki. Parsley and diced squash w/ lemon juice. Whole-grain bread and blue cheese.
Oh and this last one isn’t from lunch, it’s a light meal I had the other night. Shrimp on a baked potato, with lemon juice. So simple, but so good! If you’ve ever scrunched your nose up at any of the shrimp-topped meals at IKEA (and yes, I know it’s hard to compete with Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lingonberry juice), you should try this out next time.
Okay, now I’m hungry all of a sudden. Time to go root around in the fridge…