Thursday, August 23, 2007

We ate ... what?

One of the big delicacies in Denmark is herring -- usually marinated or pickled. Here's one of two herring plates I had while we were in Denmark:

This particular plate came with a pile of buttered rye bread. So, I ate the herring on on buttered rye bread. Sooo delicious. My favorite was the one with the white onions and dill.

I got another herring sampler on our last day in Copenhagen. Before the herring arrived, JT and I were enjoying two Carlsbergs, another Danish delicacy, and picking at the breadbasket. JT cracked open what one would assume was butter, spread it on a roll, and took a bite. I noticed him wrinkle his nose, put down the roll, and pick up the container of "butter."

"Do you know what this is?" he asked, handing the container to me. It was greyish white, greasy, and the texture of butter. It tasted funny -- not bad, but not very good, either. I had no idea what it could be -- and come in a container with bread.

Shortly after, the waiter brought my herring. "You know what to do?" he asked. "Aside from eat it?" I asked. He pointed at one of the pieces. "This one, you eat with this sauce. This one, you eat plain. This one, you break the raw egg yolk on top," he said, pointing to the three pieces of herring.

He continued: "You eat it on the bread. Take the bread, spread on the butter, or ... this (pointing to the mystery container) --" I stopped him. "What is that?" I asked. "I don't know the word in English," he said. "It's ... it's ... if you eat too much it makes you very fat." He grabbed his gut to illustrate.

We looked at the container again.

Fedt.

Fat.

Lard, in fact. Apparently, you spread lard on your rye bread, top it with a piece of pickled fish, and enjoy.

I ate my herring plain, sans raw egg yolk and gratuitous fat.

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