Here’s a Look at Denmark’s “Post-Nordic” Food Scene Through the Eyes of a Filipino FoodieJune 24, 2015
- Jason DrilonWords
Ah Denmark, one of Europe’s acknowledged culinary centers and a hotbed of food experimentation and good eats. It’s home to Noma, one of the world’s top restaurants, headed by its very charismatic chef patron René Redzepi. He also happens to be one of the co-authors of the “New Nordic Food Manifesto,” a set of ten rules that set off some amazing and fresh trends in the Scandinavian culinary scene.
But that was way back in 2004. According to Aorta, a recently-launched food and culinary blog, there really isn’t such a thing as “New Nordic” anymore. After years of practicing and honing their skills according to the “New Nordic” canon, chefs in (and chefs abroad who have chosen to settle in) Denmark are going through what’s called a “Post-Nordic” phase. That is, bringing different culinary styles and fusing them with the Nordic culinary ethic.
And boy, it sure is delicious.
Case in point, Warpigs. It’s a recently opened Copenhagen brewpub that serves decidedly un-Danish fare: Texan Barbecue. And to maintain the authenticity, they’ve even imported one of those big-ass smokers from the US. Almost all the meats are dry-rubbed and smoked for God knows how many hours and are available in ¼ kilo to 1 kilo servings. The results are insanely tasty. My meal of beef ribs and beef brisket got me all teary eyed. The best part about it? They’ve got twenty craft beers ON TAP, including four that they brew in-house. Oh yes – they have a house brew master. Totally legit and worth multiple visits.
A little more than a month in Denmark, I’ve been tasting bits and pieces of what Nordic and Post-Nordic food is about. Above all, it’s crazy fresh. Most of it is sourced from in and around the region. And it’s more organic and eco-friendly than I’ve ever seen.
The culinary scene is so active that there is rarely a time where you don’t see a food truck or a popup somewhere in Copenhagen.
Oh, did I mention eating out can be really expensive? It is. Food like burgers are easily 2.5 times the price of what we get it for back in Manila. But luckily for me, the New Nordic Manifesto extends itself to the grocery shelf, where top-quality ingredients are actually quite affordable. I find it so great to be cooking with some of the freshest food I’ve seen (and tasted) in a while!
So while I haven’t really immersed myself totally into the Danish food scene yet, I’ve picked up a few things:
- Danish love their cakes and pastries. The Snagle and Wienerbrøt are mainstays of a typical Danish day.
- They like their beer. I am going to try to make an annual pilgrimage to the Copenhagen Beer Festival, which happens in May. There are over 800 (!!!) beers on tap.
- Danes are passionate about their food, and are just as passionate about putting forward their ideas about food. This is evidenced by MAD, the annual festival of food and technology. From their website: “MAD: (taken from the Danish word for “food”)is a not-for-proﬁt organization that works to expand knowledge of food to make every meal a better meal; not just at restaurants, but every meal cooked and served.” YES.
- They like their bacon. There is much pork here. And I love them for it.
Of course, it totally helps that Denmark is one of the most bike-friendly nations in the world, so I do plan to work off the calories gained from all this glorious food.