The summer is upon us! The Danish summer, I mean. One day the sun is shining, the next it’s raining cats and dogs. Even though this can be quite frustrating when you just want to take in those vitamin Ds, it is perfect for the Danish crops. But when those rays of sun actually penetrate the clouds there’s nothing like it. With just five minutes of sun, Danes rush outside and start celebrating the arrival of summer. If you too want to get as excited about the Danish summer as we are, you need to have the summer sensation in your stomach too. In Denmark we have certain foods and dishes that are equivalent with summer, sun, holiday, and hygge. Do yourself a favour and indulge in these 7 Danish summer foods:
As soon as the first sun is out the supermarkets are ready with koldskål. And it is delicious. However, if you really want to treat yourself and your stomach, you have to make it yourself.
Here is my friend Mathilde Johnsen’s amazing recipe for Danish koldskål:
- Ærter (peas)
Yes you can get peas year round, but they are frozen. Frozen peas are a NO GO in the Danish summer! The taste of summer only comes out, when you get peas still in the pod. All Danes have a memory of going on pea-prey in their neighbor’s garden every summer during their childhood. The best thing is to grow them yourself in your garden, or on your balcony, but if that is not possible for you, try to find them on the small booths selling fruits and vegetables which you will see on the roadside across Denmark during the summer. If you cannot find them, buy the peas at a farmers market close by, or buy them in the supermarket. But be sure to go for peas grown in Denmark if you want the true Danish summer flavor.
- Rabarbergrød (rhubarb porridge)
Rhubarb, yum! Those long red stems that taste like tiny pieces of heaven! We love them, we grow them in our garden, or on our balcony, because rhubarb loves the Danish climate. If you are lucky, you already have them in your garden, if not buy them the same place you buy your peas. Once again, make sure to buy the ones that have grown in Denmark.
Here is Valdemarsro’s amazing recipe for rhubarb porridge:
- Hyldeblomstsaft (elderflower juice)
If you hurry you’re just in time for picking those Elderflowers growing around Denmark (they will probably wither during the next week). Elderflower juice is the epitome of Danish summer. The smells is absolutely mouth watering and you cannot help but to smile and relax, while drinking it.
NB. When picking the flowers, please be careful and make sure you’re picking the right flowers, and not one that looks alike. And also, try to stay clear of the ones growing on the roadside, because of all the traffic and carbondioxide they have been exposed to.
Here is my friend Mathilde Johnsens recipe for elderflower juice:
- Jordbærtærte (strawberry pie)
Strawberries, juicy, sweet, deep red strawberries, yum! Typically you will find fresh, juicy Danish strawberries in the booths along the roadside. The fresh Danish strawberries are like nothing else. And it has come to my attention that internationals in Denmark REALLY love the strawberry pies you can buy in the bakeries. But why not try to make your own? And please, go for the fresh Danish strawberries, not the frozen or the imported ones. The taste will not be the same.
Here is Arla’s recipe for a delicious Danish strawberry pie:
- Kartoffelsalat (cold potatosalat)
If you have lived in Denmark for some time, it will not come as a surprise that we Danes love our potatoes. But not just any potatoes, our ‘nye kartofler’, as we call them. The ones we harvest in the summer months, the ones we have growing in our own gardens, the ones we buy at the beforementioned booths, or the ones we get from Samsø. And yes, we can taste the difference. To us newly harvested Danish potatoes are like candy, and we even cook them without peeling them (but they need to be rinsed to avoid the soil). If you wanna go full-Danish this summer, you gotta start eating those potatoes. And if you’re invited to a Danish barbeque (or grillaften, as we call it) you will definitely be served potatoes, or even the delicious cold potato salat.
Here is the recipe for exactly that, from Valdemarsro:
- Skaldyr (shellfish)
So, you have definitely had shellfish other places in the world, so is it really Danish? Well, Fjordrejer (shrimps from the fiord) definitely are! If you are ready for some hygge-time with your friends peeling those tiny fjordrejer, go to your local fishshop and ask for fresh, Danish fjordrejer. If you’re hungry for some more delicious Danish shellfish, also ask for the fresh Danish crabs. It doesn’t get more summery than sitting around a table with your friends, drinking some cold white wine, and peeling those fjordrejer and crabs. Enjoy!