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Information about the cuisine of Denmark

The Kingdom of Denmark is the second largest of the Nordic and Scandinavian countries. Approximately 5,500,000 people lives in the country which consists of a large peninsula, Jylland or Jutland, and several islands, most notably Sjælland or Zealand, Fyn or Funen, Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm as well as hundreds of smaller islands, which is often referred to as the Danish Archipelago.

The Danish cuisine has many similarities to its neighbours, one of them is that the food is quite hearty and rich in fat, this is mainly because of the long winters when people needed rustic food like meat, fish and root vegetables to cope with the cold climate. The cold climate also explains the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in many old traditional Danish recipes and the focus on seasonal available foods. In addition to this it also helps explain many of the old Scandinavian and Danish food preparation processes like for instance smoking, pickling and salting.

A lot of the Danish food is still traditional, for instance 'øllebrød' or beer-bread, which is made of rye-bread, sugar and non-alcoholic beer. Another favourite is 'æbleflæsk' or apple-pork, made of slices of pork fried in fat together with apples. The Danes also likes their red sausages or 'røde pølser', often served from a 'pølsevogn' which is a hot-dog stand. The average pølse is served with bread, mustard, ketchup and sometimes remoulade as well as roasted onion flakes. The red sausages are quite long, about 10 inches or 25 centimetres, and thin. You could also have a 'fransk hotdog' or French hot-dog, with the sausage served in a toasted roll with an hole in the end. The normal condiments is ketchup, mustard and for instance garlic-dressing which is added in to the bread before the sausage..

As well as the sausages, Danes also love their 'smørrebrød', smorrebrod, which means buttered bread. The world famous Danish sandwiches are often made with a thin slice of whole-grain-bread and various combinations of different meats, vegetables and spreads. Some of the smørrebrød is so popular that they have got their own names, for instance 'sol over gudhjem', which consists of rye-bread, smoked herring, leeks and a raw egg-yolk. Stjerneskud is made with white bread, lettuce, breaded plaice, tomato, caviar and shrimps finished with a dollop of mayonnaise and a lemon-wedge.

Other famous smorrebrod is for instance roast beef with remoulade, pork with red-cabbage, 'tartarmad' with raw minced meat, and smorrebrod with smoked salmon. There are several hundred different smorrebrod and as well as the red sausages they are probably best accompanied with a cold Danish beer.

The Danish beer-brewing tradition stretches far back in time, Carlsberg started their brewing operation in 1847 and in 1970 they bought Tuborg which almost created a monopoly situation. Since then though, the interest for high class beer has raised which has brought with it an increased number of smaller breweries all over Denmark. For the beer-lover Carlsberg has created a beer worth trying, namely Semper Ardens which is Latin for 'always burning'.

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