It’s been ages since I’ve posted regularly on this blog (it was almost daily when we first got here a year ago!), so let’s get back into the swing of things with one of my favorite topics: food!
Here are some random food events from the past six months that are worth sharing.
In March, we hosted a Mexican night for some of our good friends – a family from Iceland and another family from South Korea. Not sure how much Mexican food they have had over here, but I think we did it justice (B is from Texas, and we’ve lived in Arizona, Colorado, and California together, so we’ve picked up a few things!).
We made fresh guacamole, fajita-style chicken and beef with onions and peppers, Texas caviar (basically homemade pico de gallo w/ tomatoes, onions, red and yellow peppers, cilantro, lime juice, and black beans – or black-eyed peas since you can actually get them here!). The tortillas and shells were from the shop, but did the trick. We’ll have to try making our own again one day! I even bought some Sol to make some micheladas (spicy beer). Everyone ate until they felt muy gordo, and B and I enjoyed the chance to share some comfort food from home with our international friends.
I can’t drink wine (wine allergies yay), but I can have mead. (Guess the same histamines aren’t produced during the honey fermentation process.) The bryggeri (brewery) in town (a pretty little shop that carries premium wine, beer, and chocolates) has some, so I treated myself one day. It’s lovely stuff – goes down warm and smooth and tangy-sweet. Not the sort of thing you would think the Vikings would swill out of their horns…
Our Icelandic friends invited us over for an amazing dinner one night of Icelandic lamb in a creamy dijon sauce (so delicious that even B ate it, and she normally doesn’t like lamb). We also got to try an Icelandic delicacy: whale.
Yes, I know that is a touchy subject for some, but I’ve always been curious to try new things. Tried dog in Seoul once too. It’s not easy to simply draw a distinction based on an animal’s intelligence, since pigs are supposed to be even smarter. And I feel bad now about eating octopus.
Anyway, the meat is very dark and rich, like beef. Our hosts marinated some of it in soy sauce and left some plain. It’s given a light sear on the grill, and eaten very rare. It tasted a lot like steak, but with a vaguely fishy flavor. And not gonna lie… it was delicious.
We tend not to eat out a lot, but we’ve been back to the pandakagehuset, or pancake house, at Kvie Sø a number of times because of the rustic atmosphere and fresh air on the patio, not to mention the delicious food and well-curated Belgian beer list. It’s not actually Danish food – they serve sweet or savory Dutch galettes topped with meats, cheeses, and veggies – or just powdered sugar and chocolate for the kids. You can see one above with apple, bacon, and raisins, paired with a Belgian farmhouse ale. It’s also fun to go on a clear day to see which of the property’s feathered guests might be wandering about! The peacock was bussing the tables and clearing off eftover bits of food, while the turkey was just hanging out and trying to look inconspicuous. Hard when you’re a giant bird made of turkey.
My grandmother used to put pickled herring out with the lox and bagels on Sunday mornings, so I developed a taste for it early on. It’s in every supermarket here, so of course I have to treat myself to it sometimes even though B cannot stand the smell. Goes great with a tart apple and a cold beer! The Danes also like it on rugbrød (rye bread) with karrysauce (curry, mayo, bits of pickle and carrot), but I like it just like this.
The TimeOut hot dog stand in town is one of my favorite comfort treats, but I decided to change it up one day and try a “pulsemix,” which is just a cut up hot dog on top of fries, with a ton of spicy powder and salt dumped on top. Plus ketchup and remoulade. Seems to me like something you would feed to a 6 year old, but it’s very popular here. Anyway, once was enough – it was incredibly salty, and besides, I like the typical Danish hot dog toppings – onions, french fried onion, red cabbage, pickles – too much to go for this option again. Chocolate milk makes everything better though.
I’m a straight-up popcorn and Coke guy at the movies. (All you weirdos noshing on chicken strips and personal pizzas from the concession stand, cut it out!) Danes don’t mess around with their movie snacks though – this is a typical lobby area at a movie theater. Lots of gummy and licorice-based treats we don’t get at home – the salty and non-salty kind too.
Our Korean friends invited us for dinner one night. The kids got kimbap, which are like sushi rolls, but with hot dog and fresh veggies inside. The adults enjoyed bibimbap with homemade bulgogi. I love love love Korean food, and there’s none to be had anywhere near here, so to have our Korean friends make us a homemade meal was a real treat! Afterwards we made some jars of kimchi, which I was so grateful to have in the fridge for the short time until I devoured it all!
I’m really grateful for the lunch buffet at work – every day brings new surprises, and sometimes unintentional hilarity. Kudos to the chefs since English is not their first language (and I am still slowly progressing with my Danish), but you have to laugh at stuff like ‘egg condition’ and whatever the hell an ‘Animal Doctor Midnight Snack’ is. Would love to know the story behind that one. Do all veterinarians get up the wee hours to snack on leverpostej and corned beef on rugbrod with onions? Brush your teeth before you go back to bed!