Thursday, January 19, 2006

Long time no post...

"Its been a long time since I posted something on my blog" - a common enough refrain seen or heard in the 'blogosphere'. Looks like I just caught the disease myself! Last I time I wrote something was over 2 months ago.
Somehow just did not feel like posting something on the blog. Not that I am enjoying writing this post either but just trying to revive my blog here (not sure why because nobody except myself reads it anyway!).
The project has gone live and now I am itching to get back home. Looks like that will not happen before February. More than anything it is the food that beckons me now - ohh what would i give now to have some hot 'karaishuti-r kachuri' in this cold damp weather here!
Speaking of food, it has taken me quite some time to get used to the Danish cuisine. To start with it looked all they had was a bread that quite frankly looked like a log of dark coloured wood and raw meat. But now I am much more the wiser and quite well acquinted with the food here.
The dark coloured wooden log like bread is actually Rye Bread - this is bread that is very popular in Scandinavia, northern parts of Germany and some parts of Russia. It is a heavy, dense bread. The Danes make "Smorrebrod" with this bread and that is what they recognise as their "national dish".
Smorrebrod literally means bread & butter - it is actually a open sandwich (that is you have only one slice of bread, at the bottom). The bread is buttered and is covered with a variety of toppings. The most traditional of toppings is pickled herring, sliced onions rings , beetroot & gherkins. Other other toppings are smoked salmon, liver pate, shrimp salad, spiced meat rolls or roast beef.

This open sandwich is never eaten by picking it up in the hands - it is eaten from the plate by using a fork and knife.

A very traditional dish in Denmark which is typically eaten by many families on Christmas Eve is the "Flæskesteg" - or Roast Pork with crackling. This is a dish of pork rind which has a crisp outer surface and a layer of cooked fat underneath. This is normally accompanied by caramelized potatoes or red cabbage.

The last item that I will mention on this post is "Ris Alamand" - which means rice pudding with almonds. It is somewhat like our own Bengali "payesh" - but a lot less sweeter and more creamier. This is also a very traditional Danish christmas dish. The rice pudding has grated almonds - but a single whole almond lies hidden in the bowl. The person who has gets the whole almond must keep it within his mouth and not reveal it until the whole bowl is served and eaten. Then the lucky one produces the whole almond and he gets a special gift at the Christmas dinner table!