Eating Smørrebrød in Scandinavia, a Traditional Danish Feast

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It doesn’t get much more traditional in Danish culture than with smorrebrod (literally meaning “buttered bread”). Essentially an open-faced sandwich usually featuring rye sourdough bread, smorrebrod present different combinations of seafood, meat, vegetables and condiments, and are typically enjoyed with a cold local beer or snaps (aquavit). Try the “Shooting Star,” made with butter-fried white bread, a slice of steam white fish, a slice of fried white fish, shrimp garnished with a dollop of mayo, red caviar or lumpfish roe, and a lemon slice.

There’s also the “Sun over Gudhjem” made with smoked herring, egg yolk, radish and chives. The “Veterinarian’s Midnight Snack” is another delicious choice, made with butter- or duck fat-coated rye bread topped with liver pate, salt beef, aspic and red onion rings. Some other topping and combinations you might find include fried herring, homemade chicken salad, smoked venison with scrambled eggs, homemade sausage, old cheese with onions and gravy, smoke salmon, smoked eel with scrambled eggs and a fish fillet with Danish remoulade, to name a few.

There are a few rules to remember when enjoying smorrebrod so that you survive your first “Danish cold table” without issue. Always eat herring first, then any other fish, then meat, then cheese. Use a knife and fork instead of your hands, and toast (Skal!) frequently making sure to clink everyone’s glasses while looking them in the eye before you drink.

Some traditional venues to sample Smørrebrød when visiting Copenhagen, a great destination for the delicacy, include Peter Liep’s House, Orangeriet, Tivolihallen, Aamanns and Restaurant Kronborg.

 

Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor's, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn't really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.
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