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Cuisine of Denmark - Part One - Breakfast

Breakfast of Champions     photo by Jeanie Dizon Britton

Part One - Breakfast

A typical Danish breakfast consists of a strong cup of coffee and fresh bread topped with Danish cheese, like havarti, and a berry fruit jam. However, as a traveler, you’ll be privy to larger breakfast spreads that many hotels provide, and I urge you to try every single thing… even those that sound intense in the wee hours of the morning. Suspicious road-trippers who have been betrayed by one too many motel buffets, you especially are in for a surprise.

I first chose The Square Hotel as my Copenhagen accommodation because of its location on Rådhuspladsen (City Hall Square) and its dedication to squares as a decorative theme. I expected an okay breakfast experience… I was met with early morning delight, in a lovely rooftop setting no less. The Square provided a dizzying array of fresh yet traditional treats, the tastiness of which rivalled the visual glory of multiple 90 degree angles.

First, a bread basket with numerous warm loaves confronted the ingrained white-or-wheat toast dilemma. I took a chance on slices of nut-brown dark rye bread and white with a poppy seed crust. Next came the toppings. Blocks of white Danish cheese stood upright, sliced thinly via a circular-cutting contraption. Three different types of berry jam beckoned; I chose strawberry, traditionally placed directly onto the cheese. The sweet-and-savoury combo worked together deliciously, along the same lines as chicken-and-waffles or pigs-in-a-blanket. Beyond the cheese and jam, a breakfaster could go wild with experimentation. Luscious ham, unctuous pork liver pate, wedges of brie, and rounds of cucumber held suit with soft-boiled eggs and a yogurt-and-granola bar which would put Muesli adverts to shame. No matter how I chose to load up my plate (and I tried many, many combos in a single sitting), I always noticed the freshness of every ingredient. Since the only obstacle to trying it all was sheer stomach capacity, I ate through the pain and experienced something close to nirvana. Actually, it was probably carb coma… sweet all the same.

Of course, one could not neglect the pastries. The Square Hotel had a large variety, from almond to cinnamon to chocolate. But for those with a homing radar towards sweets-only breakfast joints, there’s no better place than a bakery. And this leads to culinary experience part two... pastries.

 

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