I was in Denmark on business. I won’t say what business just so I sound more mysterious, but it’s not drug smuggling or people trafficking – and I was invited to sample a traditional Danish Christmas meal.
Christmas traditions seem to vary largely in each country. In Britain, it seems to be traditional to eat ridiculous amounts of dried turkey and over boiled sprouts, fall asleep in the afternoon, wake up, then get smashed and upset a relative. In Denmark, apparently, most celebrations take place on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day and the highlight is when the whole family dance around their Christmas tree in the living room. I’m little jealous we don’t dance around a family tree in Britain, in fact, I’m just jealous I wasn’t born Scandinavian, as they always seem to have a lot of fun and, in general, look nice too.
A traditional Danish Christmas lunch consists of a platter of meats, some creamy cabbage dishes and various sauces. It was tasty and I was most pleased. I particularly liked the sharing nature of the lunch as it’s more in keeping with the spirit of Christmas than the British ‘this is my plate of dinner, back off’ way of serving food.
The highlight, for me, was a calorific dessert made of rice, cream and almonds. I apologise for using the term calorific as it makes me sound like one of those annoying calorie counting people who use such terms, but it really is the best way to describe the dish. I was told there’s a tradition of hiding a whole almond in the dessert and whoever finds it their bowl of creamy Christmas slop wins a prize, or something. Actually I wasn’t listening properly to the rules of the tradition as I was too busy consuming, but it sounded a bit like the British tradition of hiding a penny coin in a Christmas pudding, which apparently has now been banned due to Health and Safety; there’s nothing like Health and Safety to keep the Christmas spirit alive.
So, feeling stuffed and creamy, I can now proudly no longer say I have never tried a traditional Danish lunch.