In the making of this traditionally unsalted butter, a culture is added to the cream before churning. It is then held at a controlled temperature, usually overnight, which allows the bacteria time to convert the milk sugars into lactic acid. This gives the butter its distinctive slightly acid flavour.
This small oily fish is enjoyed in many forms, whether pickled, smoked or fried. Most popular are marinerede sild, which have been salted then marinated in a sweet, peppery vinegar. Herring are served in myriad ways, often with thinly sliced onion on smørrebrød, or dressed with a variety of sour cream based sauces.
Whether made into salami, sausages, brawn, roasted or ground to make frikadeller, pork is without doubt the favourite meat in Denmark. Leverpostej is a very popular spread made from pig’s liver and lard and is usually served on rye bread, topped with pickles or cold sliced meats.
The Danes use capers – the pickled flowering bud of a bush native to the Mediterranean – to balance strong flavours, particularly herring.
This Danish staple was introduced to Denmark in 1720 with the arrival of the French Protestant immigrants. These days, few hot meals are considered complete without a serving of spuds, whether boiled, fried, mashed or caramelised, as in the classic Christmas side dish brunede kartofler.
Made from almond meal and sugar, marzipan is one of the most popular ingredients in Danish baking. A traditional Danish filling called remonce is made with butter, sugar and marzipan and is used to fill myriad biscuits, pastries and cakes, including puff pastry birkes and pretzel-shaped kringle. It also features in a sponge cake called mazarinkage and most notably in kransekake, a traditional cone-shaped celebration cake.