What’s Kartofler, precious?

Kartofler means potatoes. Po-ta-toes.

And ferie is the word for holiday. It’s pronounced fer-ee-yay.

It has yay in it, so it must be a good thing, right? It is if you’re a kid, because it means that you get the week off of school! But only for kids now. Up until the 1950s or so, kids also used to get time off of school, but that was ’cause they had to stay home and work in the fields, helping their parents to pull the kartofler out of the ground so that they wouldn’t rot. It was cold, wet, hard work, and when potatoes were first introduced to Denmark, people didn’t even like to eat them all that much! They were considered pig food.  (Guess potato chips hadn’t been invented yet?)

Anyway, today it’s just an excuse to have some time off, because Danes like to have time off. Oddly enough, there’s no national culture around doing fun things with potatoes on Kartoffelferie. No potato sack races. No french fry eating contests. No potato potlucks with shepherd’s pie or carmelized potatoes or poutine or potato donuts. (Yes, they are a thing). Maybe that’s ’cause in most of the country (i.e. not rural Jutland), they call this week Efterårs Ferie instead, which simply means Fall Holiday. Bah.

Anyway, I made some kartofler goodness tonight to celebrate. Potato leek soup. Really good w/ a splash of smoked Tabasco.

And no there’s no Leek Holiday, because leek is ‘porre’ in Danish and Porre Ferie sounds sad.


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