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Danish Specialities

The Danish cuisine still contains elements harking back to the time before industrialisation, i.e. the time before c. 1860, the age of storage housekeeping with a cuisine based on beer and rye bread, salted pork and salted herring.

Among the dishes from those days which are still eaten today are øllebrød (a dish made of rye bread, sugar and non-alcoholic beer), vandgrød (porridge, usually barley porridge, made with water), gule ærter (split pea soup), æbleflæsk (slices of pork with apples fried in the fat), klipfisk (dried cod), blodpølse (black pudding), finker (an approximation to haggis) and grønlangkål (thickened stewed kale).

In the second half of the 19th century, i.e. the age of the co-operative movement, milk and potatoes played a prominent part, and the stove, the mincer and the developing retail trade provided new possibilities for dishes such as roast pork and gravy, boiled cod with mustard sauce, consommé with meat, bread or flour dumplings, rissoles, minced beef patties and other dishes based on minced meat.

The same period saw the emergence of many fruit dishes such as rødgrød (thickened stewed fruit), sødsuppe (fruit soup) and stewed fruits, and the range of vegetable dishes was expanded with boiled cabbage in white sauce, red cabbage, pickled beetroot, cucumber salad, and peas and carrots in white sauce.

The sausage stall with its gas-fired water-bath, frying pans and gridirons is a popular element in the Danish urban landscape. As a predecessor of fast food restaurants it has created a culture of its own.

Danish Pastry is in Danish called Wienerbrød, Viennese bread, though known in Vienna as "Kopenhagener Gebäck" or "Dänischer Plunder". In Denmark, it has been known since 1840 and is said to have been created by immigrant bakers from Vienna, perhaps strike breakers.

Rødgrød med fløde. The fruit dish the name of which is a test in pronunciation for all non-Danes. The stew is made of for instance redcurrants, raspberries and blackcurrants, which are boiled until soft. The juice is sweetened and thickened, and the dish is then served with cream or milk.