Welcome to Day 4 of Janet and Randy's Copenhagen Adventure 2017
Monday, August 28th, 2017
Woke up around 8:30am. Randy went for a run along the water (trying to dodge bikes, and trying not to trip on cobblestone walk ways), while I caught up on the travel journal. Our food tour didn't start until noon, so we just hung out in the room until 11:00am, and took our time walking towards the meet-up point. We got there a little early, and wandered around the side streets a bit until it was time to meet.
We met up with our guide Fie from Foods of Copenhagen as well as the 4 other people on the tour. There was couple was from Brisbane, Australia and 2 friends from San Francisco and Seattle. Throughout the tour, Fie would also stop and provide a little history or points of interest.
Our first was Cafe Gammel Torv - which is a traditional Danish restaurant that was originally opened to sell food to the women that sold wares in the Old Square. We were served traditional smorrebrod - which is a type of open faced sandwich. There are two ways that smorrebrod is sold - either already made up and decorated in an elaborate fashion, or you are given the bread and the toppings to do it yourself. We were given the separate dishes to make up our own smorrebrod.
Smorrebrod is made using rye bread. You take the bread and then spread some lard on it.
Then you put the topping on it - which in our case was a pickled herring dish. Here is the dish, and what it looks like on the bread.
Randy wasn't a big fan of the pickled herring, but I didn't mind it. I wouldn't want to eat a whole lot of it, but it was quite tasty in small doses (very small). Luckily, for Randy, they also had some meatballs that a person could put on the rye bread. They were quite tasty as well. And we had some homemade pickles - which were really good. We were also given shots of schnapps to go with the smorrebrod. We were told that schnapps "helps to make the smorrebrod go down". The schnapps was more like a homebrew, not flavoured, and more like pure alcohol.
Our next stop was Sankt Peders Bageri - which is the oldest bakery in the city, dating back to 1652. They are famous for their cinnamon rolls, but we were here to try their Danishes. We sampled a custard Danish, and it was literally the best Danish I've ever had. I think we will be going back here again before we leave! Maybe many times !
From the bakery, we walked from the central area of Copenhagen to a more residential neighborhood of Norrebro. We first stopped at Torvehallerne - which is like a permanent Farmer's Market. The market is housed in 2 different glass buildings, with an outdoor section in between the 2 buildings.
Fie walked us through both buildings to give us an idea of what various goods are for sale. We then stopped at cheese shop called Ostetorvet to have some samples. We tried 4 different types of cheese. The first one was like a gouda, the second was called a crystal cheese (similar to the first one, but the cheese was made with less moisture, so it forms cheese 'crystals' - almost crunchy, which is a very odd texture for cheese, but in a good way), the third was a goat cheese, and the fourth was a blue cheese. The blue cheese was a very young cheese, so it wasn't as strong as some. Fie had us try the blue cheese with some jam - which helped make it taste a bit better. But, neither Randy nor I are big fans of blue cheese in general. We also had some cherry liqueur to go with the cheese. The cherry liqueur helped wash down the blue cheese - blech
Next we went to a place called Brus, where we tried some craft beer along with some food. For the food, we had grilled cauliflower, broccolini salad and some kimchi. The beer was what they call a Pils (aka: Pilsner) Not my favourite style of beer, but worth a taste and the one good thing is it was very fresh and was actually a fairly good summer beer
I think that this was my least favourite place of the tour. The beer was too hoppy for my tastes, and the vegetables were fine, but they didn't really go with the beer. Once you had the spicy kimchi, the beer tasted really bitter.
But, luckily, there was more! We had a bit of a trek to get to the next set of food stops. Along the way, we walked through an old cemetery, and stopped to see the grave of Hans Christian Andersen. Fie then gave us some samples of chocolate-covered black licorice. Apparently the Danes love their black licorice. I'm not a big fan of black licorice (and neither is Randy) - so we weren't overly enthused.
After exiting the cemetery, we came out onto Jægersborggade street, which is apparently an area that used to be a drug dealer neighborhood 15 years ago, but is now cleaned up and home to trendy shops and restaurants. We stopped in to RO Chokolade - and the owner was even there to serve us some chocolate delicacies. We were able to sample a Flodebolle - which is a soft meringue on an almond biscuit base, covered in chocolate. We had a choice of a plain chocolate, a coconut or a buckthorn (type of berry) flavours. I chose the buckthorn and Randy went with the coconut. Both were incredibly good. the meringue was so soft - it just melted in your mouth. We ended up buying a box of chocolates from there. I don't think they will make it home. I know they won't make it home.
Just across the street was our next stop - Karamelleriete. This shop makes the caramels right in the shop, and they were actually making some when we were there. We tried 3 different caramels - one was a passionfruit flavour (really soft and tasty), one was a soft licorice caramel, and the third was a hard licorice caramel (which took a LOT of chewing). We really liked the passionfruit flavour, and bought a jar. Again, I don't think they will make it home. Again, I know they won't make it home.
After all the sweets, it was time to get some more savoury food. Our next stop was a little further down the street. It was a place called Grod, which specializes in porridge. But this wasn't just your usual Quaker rolled oats type of porridge (microwave version). The restaurant serves different types of grains and rices in their dishes. The porridge that we tried was Barley-otto - which was barley with green peas, Danish cheese, ricotta, pea shoots and lemon oil. It was actually really tasty! Even though I was quite full from all the food we had been eating all day, I managed to eat my entire bowl.
That was our last food stop, we still had another stop to go. Just a couple blocks away was our last stop - Mikkeller & Friends. Mikkeller is a well known Danish brewer, and this particular location sells Mikkeller beer, but it also sells other brands of beer on tap. We were given a sample of the Mikkeller Beer Geek Flat White. This is a stout that has a very strong coffee flavour. Randy really liked it, but as I'm not a coffee fan, I wasn't overly fond of it.
Adjoining Mikkeller & Friends was a separate bar called Koelschip. This bar is also part of the Mikkeller brand, but is dedicated to Belgium beers. We were given a lambic beer to try - which I liked much better. Randy didn't really like it, so he swapped his lambic for my stout. Good trade in my opinion.
The bar also carried a variety of bottled Belgium beers. Randy asked the bartender whether they had any of his favourite beer - Westvleteren. The bartender said that he had 2 bottles. So, Randy bought one bottle to share with the food tour group, and then a second one for us. This particular brand is made in very limited production, so you don't find them very many places. So, Randy was very happy to have found some. One of my very favourite beers !
After having the Westvletern, our food group disbursed, and we started our way back to the hotel. Where we ended up on the tour was quite a ways from where we had started, so it took about an hour for us to walk back to the hotel. Along the way, we stopped at the Torvehallerne market to grab a bite to eat for our dinner. We weren't overly hungry, but thought that if we didn't have something, we would be hungry later. We also took the opportunity to get off our feet for a quick rest.
We ended up just getting a Vietnamese sub sandwich from Lele Street Kitchen. We shared a lemongrass beef sandwich, which was quite good. Then we continued our trek through the central shopping area back to our hotel (interesting that most of the shops close up at 5:30-6:00). We got back to the hotel around 7:30pm, and just stayed in for the rest of the evening. Resting our weary feet !
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