The Best of St. Croix
Foods of Denmark
Friends of Denmark West Indian Night
The Friends of Denmark in celebration of their 45th year as an organization
showcased Danish fare and how it influenced West Indian fare for their 2nd
Annual West Indian Night. Those in attendance sampled the Danish culinary
creations of Nina York and other FOD members alongside the local dishes.
Some of the Danish dishes not presented included:
Rod grod med flode - known in the Virgin Islands as Red Grout. This is red berry
porridge (grain, grits, groats) with cream. It is a custardlike dessert made of
tapioca served with a stewed berry compote. In the islands guava is used instead
of berries.
Sand Kage or Danish Pound Cake - a heavy crumbed distinctive tall tube cake.
Fiske Budding - Fish Pudding made with finely flaked cod, cream and folded
egg whites baked in a tureen using a water bath method.
Other Danish products used in the Virgin Islands include: Danish butter, Danish
ham, Danish salami and locally made
Blodpolse or Black Pudding which is a
blood sausage.
As Nina York stated, the Danish concept of hygge - a warmth and coziness, a
feeling of comfortable well-being includes, as a very important part, food.
The Danes were unfamiliar with many fresh fruit and vegetables in their homeland
since not a lot grew there and what they did have was seasonally available.
Because ot this, the Danes, during the time they held the islands, did not make
use of the various abundant fruits which grow here, the enslaved population did.
That tradition lives on today in the many preserves and drinks created from these
The Danes consume more pork than any other culture in the world. It is one of
their favorites. The use of this meat was carried with them to the colonies where we
have today not only the same tradition of roast pork, but the dishes that utilize all
of the other not so desireable portions of the pig, such as the feet, ears and snout
in Souse, and the tail in Red Pea Soup and Kallaloo.
For this evening's event, the meal began with
Smorrebrod. Smorre og brod
means butter and rye bread, a hearty bread. The basis of this first course.
Ms. York adds labels to the prepared smorrebrod.
Smorrebrod for the Danes is a collection of open-faced
sandwiches. These sandwiches are eaten at breakfast
and are taken to work as a sack lunch as well. There are
hundreds of combinations. A few are shown here.
Mini sandwiches are meant to be comfort food passed
around in a gathering of friends and family, all sharing
the warmth and good feelings of celebrating life and
This is Franksbrod (French Bread) topped with creamy
Danish smorre (butter) and tiny Rejer (shrimp). These
are tiny flavorful shrimp from Northern seas.
Rugbrod (rye bread) smorre (butter) and leverpostej (pork
liver pate) topped with either bacon or sauteed mushrooms.
Rugbrod (rye bread) smorre (butter) and cucumbers.
Rugbrod (rye bread) smorre (butter) and sild (herring)
with a mushroom sauce, egg and dill.
Finger potatoes (kartoflen) are sliced and served on
Franksbrod (French bread) with smorre (butter) and
topped with dill. The potato arrived in Denmark in 1720
imported by French Huguenots.
Rugbrod (rye bread) is here topped with smorre (butter)
and laks (smoked salmon). Sometimes it is accompanied
by dill and lemon slices.
In the center with the Danish flag, is Franksbrod (French
bread) with smorre (butter) and Danblu (blue cheese).
Smorrebrod is always served with Aquavit. Even at lunchtime.
It is used as a palate cleanser after fish.
At the top, Franksbrod (French bread) is spread with
smorre (butter) and skaereost (sliced cheese) in this
case Havarti with a dot of pimiento.
Aquavit is a liqueur made from potatoes. It may be
flavored many ways. This one has the flavor of caraway.
Bottom right shows Rugbrod (rye bread), smorre (butter)
marinerede sild (pickled herring) red onion (loget) and
vinegar. Another preparation stegte silde i eddike (fried
herring with vinegar) is also very popular.
This is a Kartoffelsalat (Warm Potato Salad) baked in a
cream sauce.
Here is the most popular dish in Denmark. Frikadeller -
fried pork and beef meatballs. First known in 1648.
And here are the Fiske Frikadeller. The fishcakes. This
fritter/meatball shape survives today as our Salmon Balls.
Pork loin with apples and prunes. The fruit and pork
dishes do not appear today in the West Indian diet.
Gronlangkal (creamed cabbage) flavored with caraway seed.
Flaeskesteg (Roast Pork) with Svaer (Crackling).
Rodkal (Sweet and Sour red cabbage).
Fried pork loin cutlets.
Agurkesalat (cucumber salad) with vinegar.
Leverpostej (pork liver pate).
Rodbeder (pickled beet slices).
Palaeg (Ham), a favorite in Denmark and a staple of all
types of celebrations in the Virgin Islands.
Blomkal (Cauliflower au Gratin).
And finally for dessert the Aebleskiver (filled pancake).
These are filled with raspberry jam and will get a dusting
of powdered sugar before serving.
Through the ages, all cultures have exchanged foods, traditions, ideas,
customs, beliefs and a host of other attributes with those whom they came
into close contact for a sustained period of time. Our cultures are no
different. In that contact we change each other, sometimes forever.