Danish Language Blog

Enter the Danish Ice Age Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Mmm! 🙂 (Photo courtesy of Thomas Angermann at Flickr, CC License.)

Sommeren er på vej, og det betyder is! (Summer is coming, and that means ice cream!) Even though it’s only forår (Spring, literally ”fore-year”), Danes love ice cream, and the combination of temperatures around fjorten grader (fourteen degrees of Celsius) or so and a bit of sol (sun) is an excellent excuse to buy yourself a cold treat!

Every marts (March) when the ice season really starts, you’ll see a lang kø (long line) of people outside an ice cream shop somewhere, patiently waiting to get en gratis is (a free ice cream)! Many specialised shops are giving away is for free on their opening day, and as Danes love free stuff even more than their ice cream, you have to show up early if you want to have a chance before fryseren (the freezer) is tom (empty)! For example, on March 21st the company Frisko gave away 100,000 gratis is all over the country.

Vil du have en ispind eller en isvaffel? (Would you like an ice cream on a lolly stick or in a cone?) Er du til flødeis eller sodavandsis? (Do you prefer [creamy] ice cream or [watery] ice lolly?) You could try a københavnerstang – a uniquely Danish ice cream that combines the two kinds of ice (cream at the core and frozen lemonade around it).

This ispind looks a bit like a københavnerstang (without the white inner core of cream). (Image from Open Clipart.)

Lækkersultne danskere (Danes fancying something delicious to eat) often go for the creamy Magnum-is [MAOOnum-eece] that have a thick cover of very tasty chokolade. Another favourite, especially when the sun is scorching, is a big softice [SOFTeyes] (soft ice – for some reason, there doesn’t exist a proper Danish word for this; only the spelling has been changed a bit). Some places you can get your softice with guf [gawf], which I haven’t seen in any other countries. It’s a kind of pink, sweet, thick sauce – you should try it out. 🙂 Be careful, though, as a softice tends to melt away really quickly!

Danes sometimes discuss ice cream names (yes, really!) For example, some people think the name Kæmpe Eskimo (Huge Eskimo) is racist and should be changed. Other people think there should be more Danish ice cream names instead of English ones, which are invading the iskiosker (ice cream kiosks) everywhere…

For those Danes who just can’t wait for the spring to fill the streets, there even is a home-delivery ice-cream service! The company Hjem-is [yem-eece] famously criss-crosses Denmark in their bright blue vans loaded with everything ice-cream related. When one of the cars is entering a villakvarter (residential neigbourhood), the driver ringer med klokken (rings a bell), and parents get busy to secure some is to their eager børn (children). In fact, the sound of the company’s bell is so common that I heard a child at a funeral thought the tolling of the church’s bells meant that Hjem-is-bilen (the Hjem-is car) was coming!

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.


  1. Hannah Holmberg:

    Du har HELT ret! Vi elsker sort-ice i Danmark… OG Hjem-is bilen.