Tag Archives: Copenhagen

12 hours of Eating like a local in Copenhagen

denmark_flagWe arrived in Denmark with a near-complete ignorance of Danish food. Not on purpose of course, but knowing no Danish people or restaurants in Chicago, we only have our perusal of the Nordic Food Labs Twitter account to go on. On our way back to Chicago from Europe, we happened (well, opted) to have a 12 hour layover in Copenhagen. Even though we had very little time, we were determined to make the most of it. We got up early, and set out to the center of town on the weird little operator-less, futuristic monorail from our airport hotel. We do know the country is purported to have some of the best coffee in the world, so we made that a priority.
CoffeeCollective2 The purported best coffee in the world is served at Coffee Collective (Vendersgade 6D 1363 Copenhagen K) which now has a mini empire of shops in Copenhagen. We visited the location in Torvehallerne, an interesting place to visit in its own right, because it boasts over 60 vendors under one roof.

CoffeeCollective

At Coffee Collective, there were two varieties of single origin coffee: Kenyan and Guatemalan. We ordered a cortado and hot chocolate from a pleasant barista with accentless English (like most Danes seemed to have). Both drinks were good, but the coffee was a little steep at about $8 USD. We think you may have to try for yourself to see if this is indeed the best coffee in the world, though M thought the hot chocolate was excellent.
LaurasAfter coffee, we wandered around the Torvehallerne a bit more to check out the other stores, which included cafes, greengrocers and bakeries. We supplemented our coffee with cardamom and cinnamon rolls from Laura’s Bakery in the same market (20 K apiece), which were quite good. We were pretty excited to see that they are actually called “Cinnabuns” in Danish, too. We took our breakfast to eat on the wooden tables flanking the market, and as you can see from the photo below there are truly bikes everywhere!

Cinnabun

We wandered the pleasant and orderly streets until we found a lunch place that seemed to strike our fancy. We happened upon the cute and trendy Ricco’s Kaffebar (Strandboulevarden 98, 2100 Copenhagen) and we knew it fit the bill. In addition to coffee and baked goods, Ricco’s had a selection of traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches, Smørrebrød. We ordered a caramelized potato open-faced sandwich with Brunede Kartofler, or caramelized potatoes, and a goat cheese sandwich on rye. Both were tasty and surprisingly filling.

Smorrebrod

Despite being a relatively chilly country, Danes are also big on ice cream. You will see ice cream shops everywhere, including this classic shop by the water boasting a giant cone statue – Vaffelbageren (Nyhavn 49, 1051 Copenhagen). Other top choices for ice cream in Copenhagen that are more unique are Siciliansk Is (Skydebanegade 3, Copenhagen 1709) and Ismageriet (Kongelundsvej 116, Copenhagen 2300). Siciliansk Is specializes in authentic Italian gelato, and Ismageriet specializes in local, seasonal Danish flavors.

IceCream

Though we were only able to visit Copenhagen for a short time, it was enough to make us want to come back for more. Copenhagen is one of the top foodie destinations in Europe, and there are enough places to fill weeks of eating adventures.

Copenhagen

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The science of taste at the Nordic Food Lab

denmark_flagI recently learned about the Nordic Food Lab, and I have never heard of anything like it before! The mission of the Nordic Food Lab is as follows:

Nordic Food Lab is a self-governing organization run on a not-for-profit basis. Established in 2008, we work to investigate the idea of deliciousness and its interconnected systems. We explore the raw materials of our region, the flavours that say something about us and imbue the foods we eat with a connection to this place and this time.

The Nordic Food Lab

The Nordic Food Lab via Facebook

The lab is the brainchild of René Redzepi, the owner and founder of Noma, considered one of the best restaurants in the world. It is not a lab in the strict sense of the word, but rather a place to experiment with the latest intersections of taste, chemistry, flavor and even the idea of dining itself. Chefs, scientists and anthropologists alike all collaborate on lab projects. It also appears to be right on the water, which really appeals to us!

Waxing Plums at the Nordic Food Lab

Waxing Plums at the Nordic Food Lab


The ideas coming out of the food lab are extremely avant-garde, and by just poking around on the blog you’ll get an idea of what the mad scientists are up to. For example, learn about the flavor science of vinegar, or using wax to ferment plums. The lab even received 3.6 million Danish Kroner ( Over $600K US) to conduct research on edible insects. There is definitely something to be said for the Nordic countries being on the cutting edge of cuisine. We are curious to see what the Food Lab will come up with next.

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