Saturday, 4 August 2012

Visit Denmark

There is a part of Denmark in the UK at the moment.  St Katherine's Dock near Tower Bridge on the River Thames in London has been invaded by The Vikings! But they come in peace and they bring bacon.

125 years ago the first schooner left Copenhagen Denmark laden with bacon bound for the UK and it was the first of many shipments. This started our love affair with Danish bacon and continues today with Britain being the largest importer of bacon from Denmark followed by China.

Visit Denmark has put on a great chance to sample some of the interesting and indeed great tasting things about their country. For two weeks you can try their favourite Danish hot dog, visit a real Summer House and taste freshly made bread, board a replica of a real Viking ship and immerse yourself in Danish culture first hand.

I was invited along with a group of other bloggers to experience the finest that Denmark has to offer by visiting St Katherine's Dock last Tuesday.  There was a unit housing the Danish equivalent to ITV - TV2 who were covering the Olympics and they had a huge screen TV in the square and whilst we were there Denmark were competing in handball and suddenly the square was filled with Danes, both expats and visitors all cheering for their home team.

First of all we were treated to some steak and chips and it was explained to us by the chef of the evening how the beef was grass fed which helped to keep it tender (corn is not a natural food for beef and is harder for them to digest and you end up with tougher meet), how the marbling of the fat was important to the taste but I just know it tasted delicious! It was cooked a bit too rare for my personal preference but it proved to be so tender you could have cut it with a fork.  The creamy bernaise sauce on top was the perfect accomaniement. I even learned a trick or two how to make the perfect chip.

Following that we walked to the Summer House a beautiful exhibition of Danish design where we met Marie-Louise Risgaard who baked the freshly made bread sticks that we were offered along with a platter of things to dip into and a refreshing beer to go with it (Probably the most refreshing beer!)

Next a quick visit to a real Viking boat with oars and sails just as the origingal it was fashioned from 30 years ago.  An original viking barge was found in a fjiord 30 years ago and even though it was in rough condition it was possible to recreate it as close to the original as possible.

On the way back to the group I stopped off at the Hans Christian Andersen hut and entered into the spirit of the evening by having a Danish flag painted on the side of my face! You are never too old you know!

Our penultimate stop was at the Danish hot dog stand where we tried a traditional hot dog with all the sauces they would recommend for the perfect taste experience. Our hosts were very excited to know if we liked their favourite snack. And there was a resounding positive feedback!

And finally we stepped on board the schooner Maja for some traditional bacon and beer! Sounds like a good idea to me. This schooner left Denmark on the 4th of July 2012 laden with all the bacon and meat they would need for this festival and also a consignment of beer brewed especially for the imagination celebrations.  The beer, Skonnertol, comes in two strengths 4.8% and 8.0%!  We were offered a taste of these beers but as they were in limited supply not a whole bottle.  (There was of course loads of Carlsberg to drink!)

However I did manage to be offered a bottle of each of the beers to take home and cook something with them and then blog about the results!  I am thinking of a thick end of belly of pork marinated and then slow cooked - any suggestions? Keep checking back here to see what I come up with.


No comments:

Post a Comment