A Danish Dinner: Smørrebrød

Food, Recommendations

Last Thursday night my roommate and I decided to try our hand at making the traditional Danish dish, Smørrebrød – open face sandwiches. Sandwiches, I love. Especially on rye bread something that I have come to absolutely love. However, a key feature of Smørrebrød are the toppings which usually involve some form of fish, admittedly not my favorite type of food. My reservations aside I was very excited. After some research and talking to Julia, our danish flatmate we decided to make three types: the very traditional pickled herring, smoked salmon and a fun potato and bacon one. Since we were going to do this right I went to a bakery down the street to get fresh rye bread.

Pickled Herring

From my very limited knowledge pickled herring is the most classic version of Smørrebrød. Fresh out of the jar we placed the herring on top of a carefully buttered piece of rye bread and garnished with some cut up chives. You are supposed to add red onions as well but we couldn’t find any at the grocery store so we went without. According to our roommate there is a specific order you are supposed to eat Smørrebrød: Herring, fish and then everything else. So armed with a knife and fork I took my first bite. It was pretty good. The herring was quite salty and full of the flavor from the pickling concoction. The piece was quite thick so it did feel like a lot by the time I had finished the whole thing. Definitely recommend trying…at least once.

Smoked Salmon

Salmon and cucumber Smørrebrød.

Next on the menu was smoked salmon. The rye bread was spread with mayo and cucumbers laid on top, next the main event the smoked salmon was carefully rolled and placed, making sure that it was symmetrical. It was vital that they lived up to our aesthetic asperations, after-all it was much more important for them to look good in the picture than actually taste good…right? To top it off we cut up some more chives to sprinkle on top.

I really enjoyed this one a lot. The cucumber provided a nice refreshing balance with the salmon. I also don’t think I have talked enough about the rye bread enough. It was easily my favorite part of the whole meal. I cannot stress how vital it was to have the fresh bakery bread. So good. We just finished the loaf from this night as I am writing this and I am very sad but it’s the perfect excuse for a trip to the bakery…hmm after I finish this post. Anyways. Back to the Smørrebrød.

Potato and Bacon

Bacon and Potato yummm

Alright this one was definitely my favorite. I mean potatoes, bacon… literally how could that not be delicious. I boiled two potatoes and chilled before cutting them into slices, my roommate fried up some bacon and we assembled it all on a piece of rye bread covered in a thin layer of mayo. To top it all off of course we had to add some chives, to give it some color.

As far as taste goes, I bet you could guess what it tastes like – if you have been lucky enough to have eaten bacon at any point in your life. Bacon, potato, rye bread. Yum.

Bonus Danish Cuisine: Kanelsnurre

The same night we made the Smørrebrød for dinner, Julia decided to make homemade Kanelsnurre “Cinnamon snail”. Basically a cinnamon roll but with the cinnamon filling folded three times into the dough and swirled around your hand to make create the fun snail shape. They are incredible. She made the dough but I got to help forming the ‘snails’ which required a technique where you twisted a long strip while looping it around your hand.

The recipe she used: https://meyers.dk/opskrifter/kanelsnurrer/p/71513/

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