22 December 2005

Danish Christmas treats

The Martian and I finished our Christmas shopping today; his sister will pick us up in some hours so we can spend Christmas in Aalborg. We could just hop on a train, but then we'd have to lug not only our clothes for the long weekend but also all the gifts, including some big toys that Uncle Martian had to get for his adorable nieces.

The smells from the sidewalk food vendors on the main shopping street here in Århus reminded me of the smell of roasting chestnuts from NY City sidewalk vendors. I also remember that they smelled a lot better than they taste. Here, they roast almonds with sugar: brændte mandler. This tastes as wonderful as it smells.

Another holiday treat that The Martian found for me while we were shopping is æble-skiver. It translates to "apple slices," but it is neither apple nor sliced. It's basically a dough ball that you dip in jam & powdered sugar. A Christmas treat, I'm told.

More to my liking are the cookies, brunkager and pebernødder. The first translates badly to 'brown cookies,' but they are similar to ginger snaps. The latter translates to 'pepper nuts,' but they are small (3/4 in. round) shortbreads with maybe a slight anise taste. I could live on these two foods, but The Martian insists on eating real food occasionally.

What's missing from the Danish cookie feast are the tins of what American stores market as Danish Butter Cookies. I have tried to explain what we think of as Danish cookies, but The Martian doesn't think anyone here actually eats them. "It's like those sticky gooey things you have in the bakery that you call a 'Danish'," he says. "No Dane would eat that."

He has, however, done a solid job of eating the first level of an enormous box of Danish chocolate that he got as a Christmas gift from work. Oh, back up a sec...

He shows up from work yesterday with some huge bags of stuff: a 5-ish-pound pork roast, a huge salmon filet, a bag of pistacios, two bottles of red wine, and the aforementioned enormous box (about 2 pounds) of chocolates. Heck of a gift!

The chocolates are interesting; most have marzipan at the center. I'm not crazy about marzipan, but I can eat anything surrounded by chocolate. Tomorrow, at The Martian's mom's house, we will be making marzipan -- konfekt -- with the nieces et al. Apparently it is a very messy thing, which means there will be good pictures.

I am told that Christmas dinner -- well, Christmas Eve (juleaften) -- will be some pork and duck. And, of course, more photo opportunities and adventures!

1 comment:

V said...

Pork & duck! Yesss!!!!
Happy christmas.