Ardent Love in Two Languages

Posted on 30. Sep, 2014 by in Food


Brændende kærlighed. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Angermann at Flickr. Licensed under Creative-Commons.)

A classic of det danske køkken (Danish cuisine) is brændende kærlighed, which translates as ”ardent love” or ”burning love”. It is basically an elaborate version of kartoffelmos (mashed potatoes). A little ”love” is added, typically in the shape of bacon…






Brændende kærlighed

4 pers.

1 portion kartoffelmos (se under)

300 g svinebryst eller røget bacon i tern
2 løg
Pynt: evt. klippet purløg

Steg flæsk eller bacon sprød på en pande. Skær løgene i tern og steg dem møre i det afsmeltede fedt. Fordel blandingen over kartoffelmosen. Pynt evt. med klippet purløg.
Server hertil: Syltede agurker eller asier samt solbærsyltetøj.


4 pers.

ca. ¾ kg store, melede kartofler
35-50 g smør
ca. 3 dl kogende mælk
salt og peber, evt. muskat
evt. hakket persille, purløg eller dild

Skræl kartoflerne og skær dem i mindre stykker. Kog dem møre i vand uden salt og damp dem derefter omhyggeligt, før de moses med kartoffelmoser, et solidt piskeris eller en purépresse.
Kom mosen i gryden med fedststoffet. Pisk den kogende mælk i, lidt ad gangen, til kartoffelmosen har en passende konsistens. Varm den igennem under kraftig piskning, og når den er let og varm, smages den til med salt og peber. Evt. drysses hakket persille, purløg eller dild over anretningen.
I stedet for at bruge persille, purløg eller dild, kan man tilsætte kartoffelmosen andre hakkede krydderurter, hakket spinat eller grønkål eller en koncentreret tomatpuré.

Ardent love

4 persons

1 portion of mashed potatoes (see below)

300 grams of pork brisket or smoked bacon in cubes
2 onions
Decoration: if convenient, clipped chives

Stir-fry pork or bacon in a pan until crisp. Cut the onions into cubes and fry them tender in the rendered fat. Distribute the mix onto the mash. If convenient, decorate with clipped chives.
Served with: Pickled cucumbers or pickled large cucumbers and black currant jam.

Mashed potatoes

4 persons

roughly ¾ kg of big, mealy potatoes
35-50 grams of butter
roughly 3 decilitres of boiling milk
salt and peppe; if convenient, nutmeg
if convenient, clipped parsley, chives or dill

Peel the potatoes and cut them into smaller pieces. Boil them tender in water without salt and steam them carefully afterwards, before mashing them with a potato masher, a solid whip or a purée press.
Put the mash into the pot with the fat. Whip the boiling milk, little by little, until the mash has a suitable consistency. Heat it through while vigorously whipping it. When it is light and hot, add salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, sprinkle chopped parsley, chives or dill onto the collation.
Instead of parsley, chives or dill, one may add to the mash other chopped spices, chopped spinach or borecole or a concentrated tomato purée.


Adapted from two different recipes from the Danish classic cookery book ”Frøken Jensens Kogebog”

The Scotlands of Denmark

Posted on 27. Sep, 2014 by in Denmark and the World, History

Greenland. (By Boegh. Licensed under Creative Commons on Flickr.)

Greenland. (By Boegh. Licensed under Creative Commons on Flickr.)

Last week the people in Scotland voted no to becoming a country independent from the United Kingdom. For some people in faraway countries, it was maybe the first time they saw the Scottish flag or even heard about Scotland. I want to make sure that you, i det mindste (at least), hear about the parts of Kongeriget Danmark (the Kingdom of Denmark) that aren’t culturally Danish:

"Flag of Greenland" by Jeffrey Connell (IceKarma) - Eget arbejde. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

“Flag of Greenland” by Jeffrey Connell (IceKarma) – Own Work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Grønland or Kalaallit Nunaat (in Greenlandic) is a huge island country to the east of Canada. The 50.000-something inhabitants live in bygder (settlements) ved kysten (by the coast); indlandet (the inner parts) of the country is just as white as it looks on Google Maps, thanks to Indlandsisen (the ”Inland” Ice Cap). Most people are grønlændere (Greenlanders) and speak grønlandsk (Greenlandic), although there’s also a considerable number of Danish-speakers. For centuries, Greenland was a koloni (colony). First Norway felt like owning the island (since the first Europeans there had been Vikings from Iceland, which was part of Norway in the Middle Ages). Then Norway entered a union with Denmark (or became a colony itself, depending on your point of view!), and when Denmark ”lost” Norway in 1814, the Danes kept the ”North-Atlantic colonies”: Grønland, Færøerne and Island (Iceland, which is now as free as a puffin). Phew, this is going to be a long passage! :-) Anyway, since 2009 Grønland has had selvstyre (home rule). That means that Greenland gets to decide most of its own affairs like any country would do. If Canada tried to invade the island, however, they would still have to fight the Danish army. And if China wanted to drill for oil, they would have to talk with both the Danish and the Greenlandic government. (Isn’t it so, Greenlanders?) People in Greenland often talk about going fully independent. So far, it’s been a bit tricky, as Greenland gets a lot of money from Denmark each year. This money is called bloktilskuddet (”the block subvention” – yawn!), and it would go away like a rainbow if the Greenlanders cut the ties. There are two Greenlandic MPs in Folketinget (the Danish parliament).

"Flag of the Faroe Islands". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Merkið (The Sign) is the name of the Faroese flag. • “Flag of the Faroe Islands”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Færøerne or Føroyar (in Faroese) is a tiny, rocky and green island group somewhere between Iceland, Scotland and Norway. There are almost 50.000 færinger (Faroe Islanders) on the øer (islands), and an innumerable population of får (sheep). The færinger are of Scandinavian stock like most Danes, and they speak a language – færøsk – that is halfway between Icelandic and Norwegian. Almost everyone speaks fluent Danish as well. Færøerne were settled by Vikings, mostly from Norway. The islands became Norwegian, and later Danish. The similarities with Greenland go on: The færinger have got selvstyre as well, and are represented in Folketinget with two MPs. And they also receive a lot of financial support from Denmark, which is why some Faroese people find it hard to split completely from Rigsfællesskabet (the ”community of the Realm” – a kind of Danish mix between the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth). When I visited the islands in 2007, the Faroese seemed to be quite fond of the Danish Queen, Margrethe II. As a Dane, however, I felt there were certain things that I should rather not ask about. :-)

"Flag of Germany". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

“Flag of Germany”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

I should also mention tyskerne (the Germans) in Sønderjylland (Southern Jutland). The border between Denmark and Tyskland (Germany) has been shifting quite a few times; as a result, there is a Danish population in Germany and a German population in Denmark. Most of the Germans that are native to Sønderjylland, however, don’t speak German as their main language at home anymore, and are in the minority, so I doubt they’ll get a Scotland-style referendum anytime soon! :-)

5 most shocking Danish artworks

Posted on 31. Aug, 2014 by in Art

A sizeable number of Danish kunstnere (artists) seem to think that kunst (art) is all about provocation. The more people you can provokere (provoke), the better. I’ve never been able to figure out why this is so, but here are 5 really provocative Danish works of art (or ”art”, if you prefer!)

NB! I’ve left out the story about the infamous ”Muhammad cartoons” on purpose. There’s no need to rehash something that hurt so many people’s feelings, all over the world.


5. Uwe Max Jensen’s urine painting. The town of Brande is known for its gavlmalerier (house end paintings), so Mr Jensen thought he would revolutionize the art by peeing on a house end as if he was painting a picture. The public happening took place in 2005, and earned him the nickname ”Gavltisseren” (the house end urinator) as well as a 1000 Kroner fine.


4. Marco Evaristti’s guldfisk (gold fish). In 2000, Mr Evaristti shocked the Danes by turning blendere (kitchen blenders) into aquaria for live gold fish. The catastrophe was inevitable: A visitor to the exhibition turned on one of the blenders and an innocent fish lost its life in the most horrible manner.


3. Bjørn Nørgård’s hest (horse). In 1970, astounded tilskuere (spectators) watched Mr Nørgård killing a horse on a field in Sjælland. The artist then proceeded to chopping the horse into minor pieces, which he stored in syltetøjsglas (marmalade jars). The jars with hestens kropsdele (the body parts of the horse) are now on display at the Aros Museum in Århus.


2. Mads Brügger’s Ambassadøren (The Ambassador). In his 2012 movie, Mr Brügger takes documentarism to a new level. Through bribery he achieves a fake pas (passport) as a Liberian diplomat to CAR (Central African Republic). He fakes his name and manages to fool the CAR authorities. During the weeks of the filming, Mr Brügger enjoyed the wasteful lifestyle of a powerful diplomat, while buying diamonds, dishing out racist comments about pygmies, and tricking poor village people into believing that he was there to help them build a match factory. A lot of people thought the film was really cool and did a good job exposing corruption in Africa, while others were appaled by Mr Brügger’s dishonest games.


1. Kristian von Hornsleth’s efternavn (last name). In 2006, Kristian bribed 307 poor people in the Ugandan village of Buteyongera to add ”Hornsleth” to their last names. He paid them in goats and pigs. Afterwards he photographed the new ”Hornsleths” and used them for udstillingen (the exhibition) We want to help you, but we want to own you.