In case you’ve ever wondered: The Danes do not call the Germans Krauts or Huns. Our favourite insult for our southern neighbours is Pølsetyskere (Sausage Germans) – which given the ubiquitous Currywurst-stands in the Federal Republic seems a very apt choice.
But what about the other way round?
One problem is of cause that Germans have a really hard time telling Danes, Swedes and Norwegians apart. In German eyes, we are all Scandinavians. This recently led one of the chefs appearing in ZDF’s weekly show Kerner Kocht to ask guest cook Tina Nordström about how you prepare smørrebrød.
Poor Ms. Nordström had to explain that smørrebrød is a Danish, not a Swedish speciality. I can testify to this – the Swedes sweeten their rye bread and eat herring on white bread. Fortunately, I can buy German (!) rye bread where I live and prepare a decent lunch.
But ask a German about the Danish cuisine and he or she is likely to come up with fond memories of Danish pasty (which is called wienerbrød in Danish. Go figure) and hot dogs. Talk about returning an insult!
The Danish food prices may be one reason for the lack of more profound knowledge of the Danish kitchen among Germans, the lack of a sophisticated food culture another.
Luckily, things are changing though as Frankfurter Allgemeine notes in an article about the joys of the table in Copenhagen. Besides making the obligatory mentioning of the hot dog-stands (their numbers are actually dwindling as McDonald’s™ “restaurants” and 7-Eleven-shops are taking over the fast food-segment), gives German readers a guide to the nine stars Guide Michelin has bestowed on Copenhagen.
This actually means that Copenhagen plays in the same league as Bruxelles, Madrid and Rome when it comes to elite cooking. You can even get gourmet hot dogs these days.