Notes from a #NordicFeast (aka the “A touch of heritage” Post)

Edible Brooklyn is known for throwing fabulous food shindigs with an educational bent, but this one touched some heartstrings, given my Scandinavian roots.

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Quotable @brodkitchen: “A good friend once said, good cooking is getting to experiment with new products and ideas.”

We heard from Revolving Dansk, a passion-project-turned-food-movement to bring Copenhagen-style street dogs (pølse) to NYC; the founder of NYC microchain Bröd Kitchen, which is spreading the good word about seasonal, sustainable, Nordic-inspired open face sandwiches (smorrebrod, tastes pictured above); and Unna Bakery, a startup based out of Hot Bread Kitchen incubator in Harlem that’s all about Swedish cookies all the time. Naturally, the nights offerings paired delightfully with Rekorderlig Cider, a Swedish hard cider brand that’s the U.S. market.

Let’s get our Nordic on:

Arriving in NYC in 2011 from a culture where street dog vendors are a beloved and omnipresent food fixture, Danish expats Martin and Sera Høedholt were underwhelmed by NYC’s ubiquitous dirty water dogs. And so they set off to introduce the pølse — as well as a few Danish words — to New York’s food scene.

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“Spread the good news, cause of the meat, cause of the snap” —quotable @CPHStreetDog

Pølse are intentionally fit into a bun that looks a couple of sizes too small. The point being the first bite of a pølser is all about the snap of the casing and that first delicious impression: “Before the pureness is destroyed by all of the condiments.”

That being said, how a pølser is dressed with toppings and condiments is very precise and almost ritualistic:

Three sauces: Ketchup, which traditional Danish ketchup is mixed with apple sauce; mustard — a Danish grainy mustard w thickness and spice; and a remoulade of cauliflower, celery, carrots and curry, which adds a “sweet creaminess”

Toppings: Raw yellow onions, diced; fried onions (I would call frizzled onions, very crispy); and sweet Scandinavian pickles, traditionally made with vinegar and sugar (They’re only lightly pickled, still very fresh and crisp)

 The end result? Meaty, smoky, with a touch of sweet, a touch of heat, a lot of crunch and that beautiful snap of the pølser — in other words, beyond delicious. Hats off to Martin and Sera and the hard work that’s taken them from smoking pølse on their Brooklyn fire escape to full-scale production. But don’t take my word for it. Apparently, the Crown Princess from Denmark stopped by NORTH 2015 festival — “And she took two to go.”

Continue reading “Notes from a #NordicFeast (aka the “A touch of heritage” Post)”


Sunday: The Perfect Pre-Park Pit Stop (Hint: It’s the Only Thing Swedish About Columbus Circle)

One of these days, I’ll get around to actually dining in at AQ Kafé in Columbus Circle — the room certainly looks pleasant enough, with its woods and Swedish minimalism, and the menu is stacked with classic Swedish entreés you just don’t find in every neighborhood.

photo-5But so far, I just haven’t been able to get past the draw of that oasis of green that lingers in your peripheral view, no matter where you look. Every time I’ve been here so far there comes a point when I give in, forget it, let’s just get something to-go and go find a place to sit in Central Park.

I mean, it’s right there.

I’ve tried a number of things before, including the gravlax sandwich ($9.95), the potato salad and pickled cucumbers ($2.95 ea.), all worthy picnic items. Yesterday, looking for the simplest thing to put in my stomach that wouldn’t have me sugar-crashing two hours later, I tried one of their bagels ($1.95), which are made fresh daily in their bakery.

photo-6photo-7Cheap, fresh, original — and of modest size. This bagel appeals to me more than any other plain bagel of recent memory. An everything bagel sandwich stacked with gravlax, tomato, onion, capers, cream cheese, etc., from a fine purveyor like Murray’s Bagels is in a class of its own, but in general, the huge, doughy bagels people order in delis around the city every day and they terrify me. I can only think of one word: Dry. So, so, dry. And so, so bland.

On the other hand, AQ Kafe’s bagel is… delightful. Just like that green space that’s right across the street.