Julefrokost. A Danish Christmas lunch.

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – I went to see Marie and Henrik in Skovelund, Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009 for the first time. Marie and I agreed that I should make it an annual visit to the land of Hans Christian Andersen. Many things happened during my first visit: I saw Jamie, who’s based in London, for the first time in more than a decade;I saw Marie after more than first years; I met Marie’s husband, Henrik; Marie’s kind words convinced me to stop smoking; I realized that The Little Mermaid is indeed little. I met Marie in Manila while I was working with a trade union’s office and she was doing her ambassador work. She works as a nurse in Denmark just like Jamie in London.

The Danes are known to be outspoken and clear about their ideas. They are also very open and willing to listen to yours. The Danes have been voted the happiest people in the world. They claim to be free-spirited, relaxed and tolerant. That’s what I like the most about them. There are several famous Danish people like supermodel Helena Christensen, filmmaker Lars von Trier, and the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, among others. There are a lot of things to love in Denmark. Marie lent me one book about some Danish interesting facts. I would be writing about this in the coming weeks.

Marie and Henrik prepared Christmas lunch or julefrokost. Traditionally, julefrokost is done after Christmas but in the modern times, it is done in offices and organizations. It is usually held on Fridays or Saturdays. Marie and Henrik said that trains run 24 hours during these days. They served seven dishes from starters to desserts and they told us that it was just a mini-version of the real julefrokost. In between dishes, Henrik poured us snaps, which is a small shot of alcoholic beverage. The Christmas lunch lasted for more than five hours. They said that the real version would last for more than 10 hours or until the next day. Good thing, I survived this mini version for now.

With Marie and Henrik during our mini julefrokost.

The red pickled and smoked herring with onions. Eaten with rye bread.

The white pickled herring with julebryg (Christmas beer)

The black pudding (blodpolse) is made from pig's blood but it doesn't taste one because it is so sweet.

The sweet ham with mustard sauce taste heavenly.

Fried meatballs (frikadeller).

For dessert, the rice pudding (risengrod) is served cold with hot cherry sauce.