Sunday, March 8, 2009

Europe: Denmark

NOTE: This is part of an ongoing series of articles concerning my Europe trip. See below for links to the previous articles:



More Barcelona

Zaragoza: Part 1

Zaragoza: Part 2 (Tapas!)

Zaragoza: Videos

San Sebastian (Pinxtos)

Pays Basque: Part 1

Pays Basque: Part 2





And thus we left the Germanic confines of Berlin and hit the rails for the 7 hour ride over to Copenhagen, for the last stop on our pan European tour. It was a bit bittersweet, getting onto my last European train, knowing that my Eurail pass had served its purpose. However, I was defintely ready to go home; I was tired, smelly and pretty full.


However, the poignancy of the moment was shoved aside when I opened up sack containing the bagel I had bought before I departed in Berlin. I know what you may be thinking. That bagel? In a food blog? Was it really that good?


Let me explain about this bagel sandwich. It was a wheat bagel with brie, arugula and cherry jam. Was it amazingly good? Yes. Yes it was. The brie was really good brie, the bagel had great chew, it was everything I wanted.


Dinner wasn't bad either. I do love a good lamb shank, and the one above, while unbelievably expensive, was what I wanted after a long day of travel. It was served in a sauce that was really, quite good. Probably better than the shank, honestly. I was a tidge disappointed when I pulled some of the meat off and the bone popped right out: I prefer to gnaw on them, much like a cavemen. It gets me in touch with my primitive, ape-like self.


Never one to pass up desert, I could not resist ordering the desert tapas platter. I think it was meant to be shared. I did not share. I wrote down everything, so here is a bulleted list:
  • Panna cotta
  • Chocolate fudge cake
  • Creme caramel
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • "chocolate ball"
  • Cookie (I kid you not; this is what it said under the description)
  • Passion fruit sorbet
  • A selection of mousses (in the middle)
Honestly, most of the stuff was emminently forgettable. The standouts were the passion fruit sorbet, which was perfect. It was incredibly fruity and smooth, and just had the tiniest ice granules that gave it character.


Above, you can see the selection of mousses which inhabited the center of the plate. They were OK.

All in all, I will be honest: Copenhagen's restaurants did not thrill me. I thought the food was overpriced and the quality mediocre at best. The same, however, could not be said for their bakeries. While expensive, the gooey, creamy and chocolately pastries they served up are among the best I have ever had.


Also, the bakeries are adorned with golden pretzels.


This was a custard croissant. Nothing special, but really good. It was merely a decoy for the real star..


...The cranberry muffin. Oh. My. God. Best muffin I have EVER had. Ever ever. The cranberries were tart, the top crispy and the middle was SO gooey. I think you can see it a little bit in the photo above. This muffin was an epiphany.


That day, we took a 15 minute rail trip to a small, typically Danish town called Roskilde, which holds the distinction of being the burial site of the Danish royal family as well as having one of the best museums I have ever been to: the Viking Ship Museum.

Also, they had a penchant for filling chocolate balls with creme.


See? I said they did!


After walking to the museum, we were awed by the ships. Not only do they have the remains of 5 ancient ships which sunk off the coast, they also have an ACTIVE VIKING SHIPYARD. They made a ship which they sailed around Ireland. In addition to that one, they have a large variety of smaller ships on which they take school children for daylong jaunts.


Kyle had been raving about the street hot dogs of Denmark for a long time; in Roskilde we sampled one for lunch. It was good, but the lack of a table made eating it, with its variety of toppings, quite challenging. However, it was a very good hot dog. Not the best, but good. It had a really great casing, which just "popped" with every bite.


This was a pastry. I honestly don't remember anything about it.


The next day we went to Carlsberg breweries for a tour. At the end, we found a completely empty tasting room. The two extremely kind bartenders plied with an amazing array of beers- my two companions sampled at least 10 types each. I was saving room for lunch, which we thought would be smorbrod; the open faced sandwiches which are Denmark's main culinary distinction.

Unfortunately, the place where we wanted to go was competely booked, and we had to settle for another place. I got a meatball smorsbrod and a beef tartar smorsbrod; they were OK. Honestly, I wasn't thrilled.

However, it was all worth it for that night. I had long been craving a "street waffle"- my term for a waffle from the street vendors of Europe. Something about their batter made these waffles unlike anything I have had in the states. The batter produced thick, meaty waffles. And the outsides almost tasted like there was caramelized sugar there.

So on my last night, Kyle and I walked up to a waffle vendor. I ordered a nutella and banana waffle. He started to prepare one that was already made. I interrrupted him, and asked for him to make one special. He hesitated, but under my insistent eyes made one.



And thus, I left Europe.


Kyle said...

beer tasting is a serious business.

Anonymous said...

Ah that was a good series of entries. The meaty meats and pasty pastries all looked delicious! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your food pictures.