DINING LIKE A DANE
DENMARK’S CULINARY REVOLUTION
In recent years, Denmark has become known for the revolution of the Nordic cuisine
spearheaded by René Redzepi. Redzepi is the head chef at the Danish restaurant NOMA,
which was voted the best restaurant in the world already for four times (in years 2010,
2011, 2012 and 2014).
If you’re into something other than Copenhagen’s Michelin restaurants, you can always swing
by the closest “pølsevogn”(sausage wagon) to get another Danish favourite: an open hotdog
topped with ketchup, mustard, pickles and roasted onions!
EMBASSY OF DENMARK
Maltézské náměstí 5
118 00 Prague 1
Tel. +420 257 111 900
Fax +420 257 531 410
DINING LIKE A DANE
“SMØRREBRØD”, DANISH PASTRY AND
A CULINARY REVOLUTION
“SMØRREBRØD” – AS DANISH AS IT GETS!
THE EUROPEAN LEGACY OF DANISH PASTRY
”Smørrebrød” refers to open faced sandwiches. The word derives its meaning from the words
”smør” and ”brød” – Danish for bread and butter.
Smørrebrød is the most common lunch menu for Danes. It is eaten at home, at work, and
at social gatherings especially around Christmas and Easter. In the case of the latter, the
serving of smørrebrød will often be in a ‘cold table’ setting where participants pass around
plates of rye bread, toppings, herbs, and sauces and make their own open faced sandwiches.
Smørrebrød has become so popular that some chefs have specialised solely in this dish, and
recently an app about how to make the open faced sandwich has been launched.
The year 1850 saw a strike amongst Danish bakery workers. This led the bakery owners
to hire foreigners – a lot of whom were Austrians. Grappling with the Danish recipes and
measuring scales, the Austrian bakers baked pastries of their native homeland recipes. The
Danish bakers acknowledged the know-how of the Austrians but soon contemplated ways
to improve the pastry. By adding more butter and eggs, the Danes came to perfect what the
Austrians had started. Since then, the word ”Danish” has become synonymous with this kind
of pastry. To this day, however, Danes still refer to Danishes as ”Wienerbrød” – Viennese
MAKING YOUR OWN SMØRREBRØD
Buttered sour-dough rye bread (“rugbrød”) is the basic ingredient in smørrebrød as it provides the basis for the topping. Once the rye bread has been buttered, it is time to complete the
smørrebrød with toppings (in Danish: “pålæg”, litteraly “on-lay”).
Typical toppings include: Herring, breaded filets of plaice, cod roe, eggs, potatoes, roast pork
(flæskesteg), meat balls (frikadeller), and liver pate.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
two types of spice can reveal if a person is Danish or Czech? Contrary to Czechs, Danes love
liquorice and eat it as candy. Meanwhile, Czechs often use cumin which few Danes are fond
of. This culinary conflict is unlikely to be resolved any time soon.
with 17 Michelin stars, Denmark is the gourmet capital of Scandinavia.
“Rødgrød med fløde” is a traditional Danish dessert made out of berry porridge and cream.
It is also one of the hardest if not the hardest Danish dish for non-Danes to pronounce!
DRINKING LIKE A DANE
The cold table is never complete without refreshments to rinse down the smørrebrød. Danish
favourites include beer from one of Denmark’s
many breweries (most notably Carlsberg and
Tuborg) and schnapps. For the true Vikings, both
schnapps and the bitters liquor Gammel Dansk
(Old Danish) are consumed.
A SUSTAINABLE CUISINE
Not surprisingly for a nation almost completely surrounded by water, fishing is a big part of the Danish culinary
culture – and we’d like to keep it that way. Mussels caught
in Denmark’s Limfjord by Vilsund Muslinge Industri are
the first mussels in the world to be certified as eco-friendly. The blue mussel fishing is carried out in such a way
that it does not lead to overfishing, that it preserves the
ecosystem, and that it does not impact on the feed for