Sweet Scandinavian Summer


Summer Scandinavian dessert prepared by Restaurant Mielcke & Hurtigkarl in Copenhagen

When I lived in Denmark, I would often see rhubarb growing in gardens and wild in open spaces. Around mid-summer when in season, stalks of rhubarb would start to appear in grocery stores and be presented in delectable dessert dishes. Many are familiar with mixing rhubarb with strawberries and nowhere in the world have I tasted better strawberries than in the Nordics. Norway is especially famed for their amazing berries due to the long growing season helping to bring out the natural sugars and tartness. Nordic berries are usually much smaller than is typical but they sure do pack a punch. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a recipe with just rhubarb, Denmark.dk has published a recipe for rhubarb and merengue that looks pretty tasty.

Another Scandinavian favorite is a simple tangy dessert called koldskål a “cold bowl” filled with buttermilk mixed with eggs, sugar, cream and vanilla and other dairy products such as yogurt or milk. The dish is topped with little vanilla wafers (like Nilla wafers) called “kammerjunkers” and is eaten like a cold dessert soup.

Then, finally, there is Rød Grød Med Fløde  or “red porridge with cream,” the most famous one-liner that Danes LOVE to ask foreigners to repeat because it’s so difficult to pronounce. If I had a dollar for every time a Dane asked me to say these words, well, you know the rest. As a dessert dish however, it’s quite smooth and easy to go down. Again, it mixes berries with dairy — strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, cream and/or milk.

Give these (easy to make) summer treats  a try, and take your taste buds for a sweet (and sour) & sublime Scandinavian spin!

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