Archives for posts with tag: Denmark

I realized as I was looking through the blogs I have written that I have not done a blog about food! Isn’t that just preposterous? How could I be in a completely different part of the world and not talk about the food? Shame on me. I want to touch on three things when it comes to food.

One: There is something called “The fruit Bowl” in my house. My host father works with a company that delivers fruits and vegetables to markets, restaurants, and other such places. Therefore we usually have a very good selection of fruits and vegetables in the house at all times, i.e. The Fruit Bowl. It is one of the most fantastic parts about living with this host family (besides the fact that they are just amazing and wonderful people). Every time that bowl is full again, my heart warms. It is such a great sight to see when it is filled. I’ll show you what I mean:

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The Mecca of all fruit bowls. Makes me tear up a little bit.

Two: I thought it would be fun for everyone to know what a typical Danish meal is like. I figured I would go through each meal of the day and tell you what would be served. So, starting with breakfast (Note: I don’t have any of my own pictures of this meal because my host family doesn’t eat typical Danish breakfast, but I did have it at the hostels when I was on my Study Tour in western Denmark):

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Breakfast is usually made up of cheese, bread, meat, veggies, fruit, hard/soft boiled eggs, yogurt, Moslie (which is what they call cereal, but it’s granola), flakes (real cereal), coffee/Tea, and juice or milk. It is pretty big and it is very yummy! When I had this kind of breakfast at the hostles in Odense and Kolding, it was so delicious. The bread here is wonderful and you wouldn’t think eating veggies in the morning would be too appealing, but it is! It’s very easy to be full when this kind of spread is laid out before you. Take my word for it.

Lunch is a bit smaller, usually just a sandwich or salad. Most people, even in the work force, are bringing their lunch to work more than they used to because it is a lot cheaper to do so. Also I know that a lot of Danes will just take leftovers for lunch. My host brother does this whenever he can. However the traditional thing to have in Denmark for lunch is an open faced sandwich even if it is just bread (almost always rye bread) with some spread on the top. Examples of lunch:

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(Photo already posted on one of my blogs)

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Dinner will obviously vary depending on the family, but I can tell you that traditionally, dinner is very heavy. It will consist of three things: meat, potatoes, and gravy. I have talked to other DIS students who live with host families and that is what they will eat almost every night. They will even wrap their meat in meat. Traditional dinner is not for the fainthearted in Denmark. My host parents are not traditional, as I have said, so their dinner is usually healthy, we have a salad at almost every dinner, and I haven’t seen a single pot of gravy made in this house. However, you have to watch out because they make a lot and they expect you to eat a lot. I can’t let my host mom scoop anything on to my plate anymore because she will scoop three times more than I am capable of eating and expect me to eat it all. Even when I’m making my own plate she will say things like, “Oh, no. More for you.” Or, “Do you not like it, why don’t you have more?” For those in America, think of the typical grandma that is always concerned that you are looking too thin, and multiply that by… I don’t know…five. When we have pizza night in this house they roll out what appears to be a normal sized pizza dough made for a few people to eat and tell you to make your pizza. Your. Pizza. They roll out the size of a 13-14 inch pizza and have you put your own toppings on with the expectation that you will eat the whole pizza. I can tell you, they eat their whole pizza every time. Here are some typical Danish dinners (again, not my personal pictures):

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Little side story: I have a friend who is in my core course who told me she had a girls night with her host mom and host sisters. They were gonna have dinner and watch movies together, without the boys in the house. A girly dinner was chicken, veggies, salad, and wine. Her host mom said that they have to eat this when her husband isn’t home because it is a girly dinner. Weird, right? Kinda funny in an odd way, though.

Three: This is where I talk about the title of this blog. Dumpster Diving. Initially you may think, “Now, what the heck is this girl about? She doesn’t actually mean that does she?” Oh yes, my compadres. I mean diving head first into big dumpsters full of uneaten gold. Let me give you a little background. Bakeries, grocery stores, and restaurants have to throw away perfectly good food at the end of the day. Grocery stores are a little different, but bakeries and restaurants just throw out everything that doesn’t get sold at the end of the day. They toss all that delicious, mind-numbing, toe-tingling food into black trash bags before throwing it into the dumpster. It is an honest to god crime. I would eat all of those pastries even if they were a day old. Are you with me, or what?

You might be wondering, “Is she off her rocker?” I’m not gonna lie, probably, but I’m not alone on the  subject. There is a dumpster diving culture, here in Denmark, as well as other European countries (I looked it up). It is not something that only the bum on the street is doing (although there are not a ton of bums in Denmark and the ones that are here are probably loving the dumpster), but ordinary people you walk by everyday on the way to work. Who wouldn’t want to take part in uneaten, totally-clean-because-they-are-put-into-separate-trash-bags-from-the-actual-garbage, free food? Most of which I am thinking of are Danish pastries.

I need to take part in this.

And don’t think it’s just me. Almost all of my friends here in Denmark want to take part in this great adventure! Even the lovely Liesje, (for those who know her, you know how insane this is).

Here are some examples of what can be found:

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Putting pastries in their own bag is not the way to stop people from diving in dumpster. Just sayin’. I have heard stories of whole DRC’s and Kolligeums (dorm type living for DIS students) having free breakfast for a few days because of dumpster diving. I’ll let you know when my day comes.

I’m sure you are a bit hungry, if you aren’t because of the dumpster discussion, I’m not sorry. If you have any specific questions involving food let me know!

I have gotten a question concerning the smores that I had taken part in at my friend Ingrid’s birthday party. They do basically eat smores like we think of in the US with the marshmallow, cookie of some kind, and chocolate, but it is a bit different. I don’t think they have graham crackers here, but they use this cookie type cracker that is on the thicker side and kind of has a vanilla taste to it. Plus they don’t use chocolate bars, they use this very thin sheet of chocolate that is even used on sandwiches. And the marshmallows are even different. They are smaller and are made of actual sugar. You could tell because instead of catching on fire, they would caramelize in the fire if you held it in the flame too long. Always good to know that what you are eating is real.

Alright, everyone. That was all about food! If you have any suggestions on topic you think I should blog about, let me know!

Have good days!

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Sorry, my-faithful-readers-who-are-mostly-my-family-and-friends, for not blogging in a while. I know how much you hate it when you don’t get to read my blogs. I know…I have awesome blogging skills. What can I say??

Obviously because there is a different culture in Denmark compared to the US, there will be customs here that we don’t have. One of the customs here that is really fun and has been happening for about a week now, it feels like, is Festalavn. This holiday has been going on since around the 1700’s and the American equivalent (which still doesn’t quite add up) is Halloween. I’ll try to give you a background for the holiday as best as I can, but I still don’t exactly understand it, so don’t quote me.

Festalavn (pronounced festa-lawn) originated from Christianity and happens sometime after Ash Wednesday. It was thought that any plague could be avoided if a black cat was killed. You can actually see this kind of thing in many other European cultures as well such as German and French. So what happened in Denmark is a live cat was put in a barrel and people would try to break open the barrel with sticks/twigs. When they did break the barrel and the cat came out they would beat the cat to death. In 1830 they stopped using live cats and switched to dead cats. Now, however, it is more like a fun holiday for kids. The kids will dress up and beat a barrel full of candy. No more beating cats. The person who gets the bottom of the barrel to break off is called the King. (In case you are wondering, One of my very best ladies was crowned the king! King Liesje, shout out to my gummy bear! haha)

They have pastries they make special for this holiday in Denmark!

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They are a little hollowed out and filled with a huge amount of delicious cream then topped with more cream. You can’t go wrong with that, can you?

Today was very fun because I went to a more traditional birthday party. It was for my friend Ingrid and she turned 21 today. Her host parents wanted to throw her a Danish birthday, and let me tell you…we had a Danish celebration. It starts with showing up to the party, of course, and this is how you know it’s someone’s birthday:

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Danish flags in the yard. The flag is everywhere for birthdays. As you can see from the table:

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There are actual mini flags, flags on the napkins…and an American flag on the wall, which was pretty funny. That is Ingrid and I, just so you know.

I think we were continuously eating from the time we got to their house at 2:30 until we left around 10. There was cake, bread, sweets, a delicious dinner (I was so impressed and thankful because Ingrid’s host family made the three vegetarians – of which I was one of the three – a whole different meal because we wouldn’t eat hotdogs), and we even roasted marshmallows in the backyard.

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Her host family was so welcoming and I felt very much at home. It was great to hang out with some wonderful people.

Note to those who were there: We should camp out in Ingrid’s backyard when it gets nicer outside. I don’t mean to invite myself, ’cause I hate when people do that, but how fun would that be? Just sayin’.

I’m sure there has been a lot more lovely things that have happened since the last time I have blogged and I’m sure I will think of some stuff as I am trying to go to bed, because my brain thinks that’s a great game to play. Stupid brain.

Random: This is what Christina and I made our host family the other night for dinner:

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Also the bar that had some pretty great jams to dance to (for those of you not on Facebook, I went to a bar with some friends to dance and the music variety was pretty eclectic but very fun) was this place:

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Don’t ask me how to pronounce that one. I have no clue. I’m thinking gibberish.

So, I thought I might do something different in this blog: I’m going to ask my readers if they have any questions they want me to answer about anything Danish. Anything at all. ( When I saw anything at all, there are still boundries. Just pointing that out. Don’t be a smart alack. You know who you are.)

So, either comment on this blog posting or you can message me on facebook with your questions and the next time I blog I will do my very best to answer them!

Until next time…