Regional Specialities in Denmark

Find out about some of the traditional Danish dishes...

Smørrebrød or open sandwich is a very popular traditional Danish dish which consists of a slice of dark rye bread with butter, topped with slices of meat, fish or cheese. Examples of frequently served toppings include beef with horseradish sauce, smoked eel with scrambled eggs and herbs, liver paste, smoked salmon or fish.

The kolde bord, literally cold buffet, is often served at lunchtime. A variety of herring dishes may be served, including pickled herring, often served with ice cold schnapps, or stegte sild i eddike (fried herring in vinegar). Main dishes may include veal, lever, pork and bacon sausage (medisterpølse) or a Danish style hamburger (Dansk bøf med spejlæg og rugbrød), served on rye bread. Cold cuts (pålæg) and salads are also served, followed by fruit.

Fish

Fish from Bornholm, Iceland, and Greenland are frequently used in Danish cuisine. Dishes of herring (either smoked, marinated or pickled) are a delicacy, and are a speciality from the Danish island Bornholm. One typical dish from the island is Sol Over Gudhjem; smoked herring with onion, chives and egg yolk.

Marinerede Sild is another traditional herring dish served with onions and capers. The fish is marinated in vinegar and spices and is frequently served with rye bread.

Other popular fish and seafood include cod, eel, salmon (either smoked or gravad lox), shrimp and roe.

Meat

Pork is the most frequently eaten meat in the country, although in recent years, beef has become more popular. Popular meat dishes include:

  • Frikadeller: Pork and veal meatballs, often served with potatoes
  • Stegt Flaesk: Fried slices of pork with a creamy parsley sauce
  • Biksemad: A beef hash served with a fried egg and ketchup sauce
  • Blodpølse: Black pudding
  • Æbleflæsk: Pork slices with an apple, onion and bacon compote
  • Rød Pølse: Pork hotdog, can often be found at mobile stands known as Café Fodkold

Vegetables

Potatoes (kartofler) are a must in Danish dishes and a popular dish is kartoffelsalat; a simple potato salad made with potatoes, cream and toppings. Other dishes served with potatoes include; Sipperlabskovs, which is beef marinated in brine for 24 hours then stewed with black peppercorns, bay leaves and potatoes and Kogt Hamburgererryg, which is pork loin with boiled potatoes, thyme and parsley.

Cabbage (kål) and cauliflower (blomkål) are often served with the daily meal. One speciality is red cabbage (rødkål), which is stewed for 40 minutes with apples, sugar and vinegar. Peas (ærter) are also extremely popular when in season and are eaten raw as a snack.

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Danish Desserts

Some popular desserts in Denmark include:

  • Rødgrød med fløde: Red fruit pudding (often made with strawberries) with whipped cream, mostly eaten in the summertime
  • Øllebrød: Rye bread, sugar, mild beer and whipped cream
  • Risengrød / Ris à l'Amande: Rice pudding with whipped cream and cherry sauce, served by Danes at Christmas lunch (Julefrokost)
  • Rabarbergrød: Stewed rhubarb dessert, served with either vanilla cream, whipped cream or milk
  • Koldskål: Sweet soup with buttermilk with vanilla and lemon flavouring, served with fruit or biscuits
  • Gulerodskage: Carrot cake with walnuts, served with whipped cream