You have to love a country that makes a national sport out of asking foreigners to pronounce the name of a simple summer dessert. But rødgrød med fløde is by no means the only Danish food name with entertainment value.
Brændende kærlighed, although probably not named after the famous Elvis song, would be called “burning love” in English. This entree of mashed potatoes is made with butter, whole milk or cream and salt and topped with chives. An indent is made in the mashed potatoes form a well for bacon cubes that have been fried with sliced onions. What’s not to love?
How about hold-kæft bolcher? These large hard candies are called “shut up drops,” a name that undoubtedly earns them popularity with harried parents. And while the name might seem rather rude, it’s nicer than the American equivalent: “jaw breakers.”
Abemad is not a common dish in Denmark today, but I enjoy the fact that its name reflects the Danish love of word play. What would you expect to be in “monkey food”? Bananas, of course, along with other fruits such as pears and apples.
The translation of skidne æg that we give in our book, Eat Smart in Denmark, is “messy eggs” — but those who speak Danish know that “messy” is just a euphemism for sh*tty. These hard-boiled eggs with a slightly soft yolk are served in a mustard sauce. Legend is that because it was forbidden to clean the house or do laundry from Good Friday through Easter, this potentially messy dish was considered appropriate for Holy Saturday, when clothes were not so clean.
You can’t talk about funny Danish food terms without naming hundeprutter (dog farts) and the other Danish gummy candies with irreverent names. The line originated in a candy factory in Holme-Olstrup, a small town outside Næstved. One day owner Michael Spang reportedly asked his son Nicolai to try a new candy, and the boy replied: “They’re so slimy – and they look like dog farts.”
Legend does not convey how young Nicolai knew what a dog fart looked like, but his father took a risk and gave an entire line of candies names like Seagull Droppings, Dirty Diapers and Ear Wax. Today the amusement park called BonBon Land in Holmegaard takes the names of its rides from these famous candies. The popularity of this tourist attraction can be measured in foodie terms: every year 60 tons of French fries, 130,000 ice cream cones and 80,000 hot dogs are sold – to say nothing of countless bags of Rotten Fish, Garbage Heap and Sewer Slime. Only in Denmark!