The evening meal is called middag, because it used to be eaten in the middle of the day. It is eaten at home and most Danes make an effort to gather the family around a hot meal every evening.
Until the mid 20th century, two courses were served: a first course, for instance gruel, meat broth or sweet fruit soup, and a main course of meat or fish, always accompanied by potatoes and gravy.
On Sundays, pudding was served instead of the first course. In the 1960s, when women entered the labour market, the evening meal was simplified and most people now have only a single course on weekdays.
Since the 1960s, there have been many changes as a result of the increasing prosperity, the advent of self-service in retail trade, the introduction of electricity in the kitchen, refrigerators and freezers as well as the growth of the food industry.
The American influence is obvious with dishes such as salad buffets, baked potatoes, barbecues, turkey and ready-to-serve chicken dishes. In the 1980s, the Italian cuisine gained ground with pizza, pasta and extensive use of tomatoes. In the 1990s, it was Asiatic food that became fashionable, although it was never really pervasive.
Meat consumption has risen dramatically, still with pork as the most common kind of meat. The Danes eat mainly mince and cuts for pan-frying and traditional gravy and potato dishes are still very common.
Else-Marie Boyhus & Claus Meyer, Politikens Forlag