Tag Archives: dansk

Scandinavian Cheese: A Handy Guide

March 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

The Essential Guide to Scandi Cheese – Part 1

We first posted this no less than four years ago, and considering how much we love cheese it is due a re-visit – we consider it our duty to share the with you the wonders of Scandinavian cheese. Over the next two weeks we’ll introduce six of our favourite cheeses.

To kick off we will give you a brief introduction to the many faces of Scandinavian cheese – because let’s be frank – Scandinavian cheese doesn’t have a very sexy reputation (with names like ‘Old Ole and ‘Old Cheese’ we really don’t get why).

Many of us have memories of sitting in a field on a summer’s day eating crusty French bread and sharing a kilo of creamy Brie (also French). In fact, some of us would like nothing more than to spend most of our days doing just that, had it not been for the eventual need to be moved around by a pick-up truck.

Fewer people have such glorious thoughts when thinking about Scandinavian cheese – in fact, most people associate Scandinavian cheese with Eurovision. The exception is those – very few – of us who know just how many amazing cheeses actually come from our northern corner of the world.

Cheese has been made in Scandinavia since the days of old Harold Bluetooth, and the vikings reportedly had a diet rich in milk, butter and cheese – and it was thought to be a sexual stimulant.

Here’s a brief introduction to some of the more famous Scandinavian cheeses.

Gamalost Scandinavian Cheese

1. Gammelost (Old cheese)
A recipe dating back to the Viking times, ‘Old cheese’ needed very little help to mature. Most people say both taste and smell resembles something that has spent a few months inside a sweaty old sock. As you know, nothing pleases a true tyrophile more than a slice of stinky old sock. Admittedly, perhaps due to the taste, younger Norwegians are falling out of love with it, even if it is does have the nickname of Norwegian Viagra.

Danablu Scandinavian Cheese

2. Danablu (Danish Blue)
We had to include this as it is the most popular Danish export cheese and it is a darn fine cheese. Invented originally to emulate Roquefort, and quickly making its own mark on the cheese scene, Danablu has a sharp, salty note and is excellent served on just about any kind of bread. Swedes tend to love blue cheese on ginger biscuits (we say don’t argue with anyone who invented Billy bookcases, Volvos and the zipper) – and the rest of us agree. A match made in cheese-heaven.

Brown cheese - Scandinavian Cheese

3. Brunost (Brown cheese)
Comes in many different varieties: the two best known are the Gudbrandsdalen (cow and goat) and Ekte Gjeitost (pure goat); the latter is the connoisseur’s choice

Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but, vasterbottenon average, Norwegians eat about 4 kilos each of this stuff a year so there must be something to it. It’s as Norwegian as trolls and fjords. It looks a bit like a block of plasticine, tastes a bit like caramel and is enjoyed on its own, on open sandwiches or with freshly baked waffles: all you need then is a patterned jumper and people will soon start calling you Håkon.

4. Rygeost (smoked cheese)
A very Danish invention that is never exported due to its very short shelf life. Unmatured, smoked cheese made from buttermilk and milk and turned in less than 24 hours, after which it is smoked very quickly over a mixture of straw and nettle and topped with caraway seeds. This cheese is simply amazing, light and divine eaten on a piece of rye bread. Resembles a firm ricotta in texture.

Vasterbottensost Scandinavian Cheese (1)

5. Västerbotten
If ABBA is the queen of cheese, Västerbotten is the king. A firm, kinda crumbly, aged Swedish cheese not unlike parmesan in smell but with immense flavour and character. This cheese is a welcome addition to any cheeseboard and is also a partner to any crayfish party. Can also be used to make the excellent Västerbotten pie.

hushallsost - scandinavian cheese

6. Hushållsost
A cheese that has a name that translates as “household cheese” sounds like it belongs on a value shelf in a corner shop in Hackney, but it is actually an excellent cheese. Mild, creamy and full of small holes, this cheese is usually a big hit with the younger generation. Hushållsost is one of six Swedish food products with a so-called TSG protection (only one other cheese, Svecia, also holds this distinction). Taste wise it is unoffensive and buttery – a good all-rounder.

Gamle Ole Scandinavian cheese (2)

7. Gamle Ole (Old Ole)
A sliceable mature Danish cheese, this baby stinks. Oh yes. Don’t touch it too much or your fingers will honk all day. The taste, however, is mellower and really lush. Also known in Denmark as Danbo 45, there are many varieties in the same vein: ‘Sorte Sara’ is another good version, popular in Norway.

Prastost Scandinavian cheese (1)

8. Prästost (Priest cheese)
Sweden’s most popular cheese. It was given its name because the farmers at the time it was invented could pay their church taxes in dairy products. Prästost comes in many varieties, from the mild to the mature and flavoured with anything from vodka to whisky.

Squeaky Cheese Scandianvian Cheese

9. Leipäjuusto (also known as “squeaky cheese”)
This is a fresh young cheese from Finland. The milk is curdled and set into a flat round shape, then baked. In the olden days it was dried for months and people put it on the fire to re-activate it. The name comes from the sound it makes when you bite into it. The taste is not unlike feta. Hugely popular – very difficult to export due to its fragile nature.

Prawn cheese - Scandinavian cheese

10. Rejeost (Prawn cheese)
For some reason, spreadable prawn cheese (ideally in a tube) is immensely popular across all of Scandinavia. Not really a great cheese from a connoisseur’s point of view, but surely any product that manages to combine cheese and prawns and make it taste good needs a mention. If cheese and prawn can be coupled in peaceful harmony, then there’s hope for world peace.

For all our cheeses, click here.

Remoulade – King of the Cupboard

January 26, 2017 | Leave a comment

Danish Remoulade – An Introduction

Remoulade is usually being credited the French, but we think the Danes deserve most of the credit for the everyday version (don’t tell the French, s’il vous plaît). The everyday version is the kind you keep on hand for any piece of breaded and fried fish, for topping your hot dogs, burgers, or open sandwiches in need of some extra oomph. Try mixing it with diced chicken and apple for a lovely sandwich topper.

If you haven’t tried it, let us explain the wonders of this fancy-sounding sauce. Pale yellow in colour, with a mild flavour combining sweet, tangy, spicy and savoury. Often containing finely minced pickles, cabbage, mustard and spices – it is a prime example of something bigger than the sum of its parts that is hard to explain properly. If you have ever had a British fish & chips – it is a milder, creamier  and altogether more delicious alternative to the tartar sauce that often comes with it.

    Mills Ekte Remulade – Piccalilli Sauce 165g
    £3.99
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Danish Mayo – A Cupboard Essential

January 24, 2017 | Leave a comment

Danish Mayonnaise & How to Enjoy It

Ask any Dane, and they will tell you Danish mayo is superior to all other mayo. Now, critical minds may say they are biased, but Danes do have a unique relationship with their mayo. It is not only used on their fab open sandwiches, paired with a variety of things, each combination more stunning than the other.

  • Mayo and prawns with a squeeze of lemon
  • Mayo and potato, chives and crispy onions
  • Mayo and salami
  • Mayo and egg, perhaps with tomato and parsley.
  • Mayo and everything – oh yes. Just be sure to consult the Danes so you don’t violate any open-sandwich rules (there are many and they are complex).

Another thing you may come across in Denmark is chips served with mayo. Not ketchup, but mayo. Not Danish mayo though, but the kind you find everywhere – Hellmann’s or the like. Smooth and mild, mayo’s creaminess complements the crispy salty chips perfectly. Frankly, we’re shocked no one else have thought of this before. Danes, we salute you. Now pass us the mayo, we’ve got chips coming – but please save the good stuff for your sandwiches.

 

How to be Danish

April 14, 2016 | 1 Comment

How to be Danish, even if you’re not in Denmark – A quick guide.

So, you want to be more Danish? You don’t need to go to Denmark to be ‘dansker’ – just follow this quick do-it-at-home guide and you’ll be saying nå-nā to everything before you know it. Ja ja, nå-nā. Så så.

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  1. If someone asks you ‘how are you’, be sure to explain how you are really feeling. Don’t leave any details out – the other person surely wants to know, because he asked you.

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2. Kaff. Drink a lot of coffee. Danes love strong filter coffee. Nowadays, Danes also love Latte, which they pronounce Ladde. Also, Coffee is Kaffe, but if you are from the sticks, you call it Kaff (way cooler).

3. Dansk is always better Every time someone says anything about anything, just say: “in Denmark, we have that. Except ours is better”.

As in:

Friend: “I love these wonderful chairs I just bought”

You: “We have the best chair designers in the world in Denmark. Ours are better”

And

Friend: Try these pastries, they are delicious.

You: We have pastries in Denmark, they are better.

4. You know that Nothing Swedish is ever as good as anything Danish. You know this. But if it is, it was probably invented by a Dane or it’s from Skåne region, which is almost Danish anyway. Zlatan is actually Danish.

5. Copenhagen your apartment. It’s super simple: Paint everything white. Doors, floors, walls. Every single surface. Remove all curtains. Add one statement chair (by a Danish designer), a sheepskin from a remote Swedish farm, a tasteful sofa in sleek design, a small sofa table… Thou shalt not add cushions. Two candle sticks in steel. A stack of tasteful magazines full of pictures of bearded cool men, and women wearing huge scarves. One framed art poster. Limit Ikea furniture to those pieces nobody can identify as Ikea.

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6. Wear black. Stylish, black clothes, that’s how Danes like it. Your blonde hair up in a messy bun or a stylish crop. Grow a Viking beard if you’re a guy. Did we mention wear black? Add huge black/white scarf and black coat.

7. Bike everywhere. Preferably, you have one trouser leg stuffed inside your sock at all times to protect it from the bike chain. It’s a good look, don’t worry, perfectly acceptable at work or parties. Once you have kids, get a Christiania bike and start ferrying the little ones around on your bike, too. Sell your car. Also, helmets are not used because they mess up your nice messy hair do.

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8. No please. There isn’t a word for please, so you need to start functioning without it. Just say ‘Tak’ (thank you) instead – or be brave and rely on your politeness purely through tone of voice (very tricky, even for Danes)

9. Test ANY non-Scandi on whether they like salty liquorice. Then insist they try it, even if they don’t want to. Laugh at them when they go green in the face.

cake

10. When it’s your child’s birthday, make a cake in shape of a boy or girl. Decorate it with loads of sweets. When you cut the head off in one clean swoop, everybody screams loudly, and laughs. It’s a Danish thing. It really is.

11. Have an awkward sense of humour and laugh at Nordic jokes such as “Do you know how to save a Swede from drowning? No? Good!” HarHarHarHar… Why wasn’t Jesus born Norwegian? They couldn’t find Three Wise Men… HARHARHARHAR. Also, see point 10. Awkward.

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12. Remoulade – you thought you needed Ketchup? You don’t. Just throw it all away and replace with remoulade – a sweet curried piccalilli type dressing. Eat it with fried fish, roast beef, chips, salami… Anything.

13. Speak on your inhale. We don’t notice that we do it – but we do, when we say ja (yes), sometimes.

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14. Love your flag. Really LOVE the Danish flag. At any opportunity (birthday, Sundays, going to the shops), fly your flag in your garden flagpole (because you have one of those – but NEVER after 6 pm because that is not allowed). Every cake, decorate it with little flags. Wave flags around like a nutter. Flags everywhere.

15. Jam & Cheese open sandwiches Because it tastes good. Rye bread, strong cheese – and a good dollop of strawberry jam. You know it makes sense.

16. Eat lunch at 11 am. Well, why wouldn’t you? Also, get to work for 7:30 am. Leave at 16:00, sharp.

17. Never stay at work past 16:00. If you do, the other Danes will make fun of you and talk behind your back and call you nasty things like ‘morakker’ – someone who makes others look bad by staying late – a very bad thing in Danish culture. You have until 16:01 to be out the front door and on your bike.

18. Nå. This is your new favourite word. Nå. Depending on how you pronounce it, it can mean:

      • How cute!
      • I understand
      • Total surprise
      • How are you?
      • Threatening someone
      • Agreeing with someone
      • Being impatient with someone

19. Danes may ask to ‘borrow’ your bathroom. Don’t worry, they always give it back.  It’s a literal translation. They may also ask to borrow a cigarette. But they especially like borrowing your bathroom. In turn, they find it odd that you are ON the bus and not IN the bus.

20. Directness. Danes do not mess about. They get right to the point. There is no fluffy middle layer. It’s not rude, it’s just… Danish. Also, they do not understand when you say something you don’t mean – see point 1.

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21. Swearing. Danes swear in English, which can be off putting to the average Brit to listen to. The F-word is used liberally by all, even children. ‘Shit’ is also used a lot. Swearing in English is perfectly acceptable – but swearing in Danish is absolutely not. Danes moving abroad usually have a period of adjustment. Danes returning to Denmark after living in the UK spend the first 6 months in red-faced shame.

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22. Hygge You understand the internal soul space of Hygge, to feel content and cosy in your surrounding with the people you are with. Time does not matter. Do this effortlessly several times a day to be a real Dane. Also, pronounce it properly (who-guh). Minus 10 points if you have ever rhymed hygge with jiggy.

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23. The Law of Jante. Underlying every fibre of the Danish psyche is our version of Tall Poppy Syndrome, except much stricter and inward bound. Don’t think you are any better than us, don’t think you can teach us anything. Don’t think you are special. Officially, you shun Janteloven – but when the neighbour buys as Aston Martin, then it creeps up on you.

Janeteloven’s rules also means that no Dane ever takes credit for anything. If something goes well for you, make sure to remind everybody it was because of the help from people around you. If nobody helped you, blame it on luck, Never take the credit yourself. As in:

Them: Congratulations on hitting the number 1 in 38 countries with your new single

You: It was because of the people who bought the music.

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24. Fredagshygge and Lørdagsslik. It’s Friday, and you have Friday Hygge. Sit in with a bowl of crisps and hygge in front of the telly. On Saturday, they eat Saturday sweets – repeat over, but with sweets instead of crisps.

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25. Stop eating Swedish meatballs. They are Swedish, not Danish. Real Danes eat Frikadeller, which are basically the same, but bigger (and better – see point 2). Also, if you are really Danish, you call them Dunser. Your mum’s meatballs are always referred to as dunser – but don’t call them Dunser in a restaurant.

26. Danes love Hotdogs. There are hotdog carts all over the country, manned by sour people who really don’t want to talk to you. Except the happy hotdog cart at the arrivals at airport, but that one is manned by Swedes from over the bridge. Danes returning from abroad always have to buy one hotdog at the airport (it’s the law) and without fail always start a conversation with the hotdog vendor, realise he is Swedish and then the whole thing falls apart into a very awkward sausage related silence.

Can you think of anything else that could make you distinctly Danish? Let us know in the comments field and we may add it to the list.

Ps. yes, this list was written by a Dane.

Got that Danish craving now? For Danish herring – liquorice – cheeses and more – visit our webshop and get 10% off your first order – just enter ‘scandilife10’ at checkout.

Useful Scandinavian words to start using in English

February 26, 2015 | 19 Comments

Image: The utterly brilliant satwcomic.com

The best untranslatable Scandi words you need to include in your everyday use from now on and forever

We have some great words that deserve to be used. Thank you to everybody who wrote in with suggestions – we got far too many words to use them all, but we have included our best ones here.

Lagom

(pronounced [ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm]). A very Swedish word. It means not too much, not too little. Just the right amount. You can have a lagom amount of coffee, for example. How many meatballs do you want? Lagom, please. Your shower can be lagom hot. Your coffee lagom strong.  It expresses a sense of balance and satisfaction with having your needs met without needing excess.

Knullruffs

A Swedish word meaning ‘messy hair after having sex’. Yes, we have a word for that. ‘Hi Brenda, you have knullrufs today – I guess your date went well last night?’

Poronkusema

An old Sami word meaning ‘the distance reindeer can travel before needing to urinate’. Used as a distance measure, as in “ There’s a Poronkusema to his house’ (7 kilometres, in case you were wondering).

Fika

A Swedish word meaning ‘ to meet up for a cup of coffee and a bun/cake. You can Fika as a noun or verb – to fika or go for a fika. It’s casual, but you can fika with your friends, or even have a fika date. You can fika with colleagues at work or even fika with your family. It’s a social thing: you can’t really fika alone.

Hygge (hyggelig)

The ultimate Danish word. It means a state of lovely cosiness, on your own or with people you like. Doesn’t have to involve food, but it involves good feelings and happiness. You can hygge in front of the telly, or you can hygge at the local café. In front of the log fire with a good book is a nice place to hygge, too.

Same word in Norwegian is Koselig.

Tandsmør

A Danish word, meaning ‘tooth butter’. Meaning: There is so much butter on your bread that your teeth leave bitemarks.

Sambo and Mambo

In Sweden, if you live with your partner, you have a sambo. Samman = together and Bo = live. If you live at home with your mother, you Mambo. Yes, really.

Pilkunnussija

A great Finnish word, literally: a comma fucker. A pedant; a person who corrects trivial or meaningless things. A person who believes it is their destiny to stamp out all spelling and punctuation mistakes. As in ‘Seriously, don’t be such a pilkunnussija’.

Jamsk

A Danish dialect word that describes feeling under the weather, a little bit tired and just not quite right and have no desire for food. (Pronounced with a soft j, not a hard one).

Utepils

A brilliant Norwegian word that simply means: To sit outside and enjoy a beer.

Juoksentelisinkohan

A Finnish word that means: “I wonder if I should run around aimlessly?”

Kabelsalat

Norwegian. Literally, Cable Salad. When all your cables and leads are mixed together.

Forelsket

Norwegian and Danish word that means: That intoxicatingly euphoric feeling you experience when you’re first falling in love. Pre-real-love. More than fancy, less than love.

Linslus

A Swedish word, meaning ‘lens louse’ – Someone who always wants to have their face in a photo.

Palla

Swedish. To steal fruit off trees. Eg. ‘Hey Kalle, let’s go palla in Andersson’s garden– they have pear trees and plums, too’.

No doubt word enthusiasts will now email us saying the English word is “scrumping”. But as far as we could work out, you can only scrump apples. Let us know if we’re wrong about that, though.

Slutspurt

The Danish word for ‘clearance sale’ (you can find this one almost always somewhere written largely across the store’s front windows). Literally: Race to the end.

Klämdag

Swedish word, literally meaning Squeeze Day. If there is a bank holiday then a working day and then another day off, that working day will become a ‘squeeze day’ – and we’ll all be off work.

Sliddersladder

A Danish word for gossiping and chitchat. (The d is soft)

Buksvåger

What you call someone who has had sex with someone you’ve already had sex with. A useful Swedish word.

Ogooglbar

Swedish for ‘ungoogleable’ – something you cannot Google.

Orka / Orke

Danish, Swedish, Norwegian: This verb is a tremendously common word meaning “to have the energy”: ‘Do you orka to go into Oxford Street this weekend? No, Kalle, I don’t orkar it’.

Attitydinkontinens

A Swedish word, literally meaning “attitude incontinence,” meaning: Inability to keep one’s opinions to oneself. As in: ‘Sorry for that long comment I left on your page, I guess I had a case of attitydinkontinens.’

Fredagsmys

Swedish. Every Friday, we do this: Fredagsmys means Friday Cosy. Eat nice food, sweets, get cosy. Only on Fridays, though. Usually involves tacos (for some reason).

Badkruka

Swedish for someone who refuses to enter the water. As in: ‘Get in the lake, you badkruka’.

Gökotta

Swedish – to wake up in the morning with the purpose of going out to hear the birds sing.

What a great collection of words – feel free to add more in the comments.

Bye for now

The Kitchen People

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WIN tickets to see Tina Dickow in London 29th November

November 28, 2014 | Leave a comment

We are big fans of Danish singer songwriter Tina Dickow here at ScandiKitchen. She’s playing at Shepherd’s Bush Saturday 29th November and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the gig.
O2 Shepherd Bush Empire
Sat 29 Nov 14
Doors open 7.00pm

Fancy the chance to pop along to hear her sing for free? Then just answer this easy question to be in with a chance to win:

Which is these bands are NOT Danish?

a) A-ha

b) TV-2

c) Shu-bi-dua

Answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 5 pm today Friday 28th November so we can get you on that guest list! Winner will be notified just after 5 pm today by email. Usual rules apply, no alternative prizes, one winner only, tickets not valid on any other date. No cheating. All responsibilities for this concert lies with promoter, not ScandiKitchen.

There are also still a very few tickets left if you want to get your hands on them:  CLICK HERE TO BUY 

WIN: Liquorice from Johan Bülow LAKRIDS

July 10, 2014 | Leave a comment

We love the amazing liquorice from Johan Bülow and have been stocking their wares for a long time at our cafe and web-shop. From the delicious chocolate covered sweet liquorice (A) to the salty chilli and cranberry (no 5) – and we use their raw liquorice powders in our coffee, too.

This week, to celebrate our liquorice weekend, we have a treat for you: Win a presentation box with four jars of Bülow Lakrids (value approx. £30). Yes, you even get to choose which flavours go in there.

To be in with a chance to win, just answer this super easy question:

The really salty components in most Nordic liquorice is often referred to using the Finnish word…

a) Salmiakki

b) Porkkana

c) juokaamme

Answer to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before Tuesday (15/7/14) at noon. Usual competition rules. No cheating. No alternative prize. No nonsense and no cash alternative. Winner chosen from correct entries. Randomly.

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