11.28.2012

gluten-free Copenhagen!

Copenhagen was our last stop on the month-long journey. This city had been on my personal wish list for almost 2 decades. In a past life I worked in the contract furniture industry and gained serious respect for Danish design, long before the mid-century modern furniture craze hit the masses. 

So - day one, we needed a bank machine. I don't think I ever fully got the hang of the Kroner...it was hard to wrap your mind around such large numbers and I was doing a lot of bad math in my head for a week. 

designer coffee at Bang & Jensen
 I digress. The point of the bank machine was that this was the impetus for stumbling upon Bang & Jensen - which became our "go to" place for the week. Their (badly translated) site can be found HERE.
I note the translation - because I could not believe how well everyone in this city speaks English. Not second language English either. The owner of this cafe spoke so eloquently, that Bill and I were stunned. We suddenly realized that we'd spent weeks speaking such simplified English in an attempt to be understood.

The other reason I bring up English, is that suddenly, I was not anxious about eating out anymore. I could simply have the conversation I would have in Toronto, asking questions like "is it breaded, dredged or coated in anything?" and know that I my questions were clearly comprehended.
waiting for the bus to ferry us across the river
I must apologize that there are no food photos to share here. Despite the loveliness surrounding me, I didn't take my camera out very much. Instead, I found myself soaking up the sights and just "being" in the moment (vs capturing it all for later). 

While I did not partake in any Danish sandwiches, they are worth noting. Danes eat "open" sandwiches - meaning one slice of bread on the bottom. Many could feasibly be ordered without the bread. Bill ordered a "potato" sandwich which was essentially a substantial potato salad with a thin slice of bread at the bottom of the bowl. Think smoked salmon, for example (hold the bread - and if you're inclined, cart your gf Wasa crackers :). 

One night at Bang & Jensen I asked the staff about the (not so healthy) natchos on the menu. When I showed concern about the chip ingredients - she brought me the bag. Ingredients were listed in more than a dozen languages, which was very reassuring. They were ordered again a few days later :).

Our most memorable meal in Copenhagen was a simple one. It's hard to mess up on a simple steak. We ordered steak frites and a salad at Cafe Oscar. A delightful little restaurant just down the street from the Danish Design Museum. If you are lucky enough to travel here, don't miss either spot. 

Finally - the gluten-free highlight of Copenhagen was directly across from our little apartment. Naturbageriet had fresh gluten-free goodies waiting for me in the window every morning. I apologize profusely for not photographing the rumballs, cardamon carrot cake, the date loaf or the banana muffins. They had "regular" baked goods there too (they write about this on their site - see link) but go to every effort to keep the two worlds from colliding. The people who run the place are very knowledgeable about the ingredients and were most reassuring. I ate their goodies every day, and felt healthy - and VERY happy!!

Copenhagen was everything I hoped it would be. Inspirational eye candy everywhere. Extremely walkable. Areas reminiscent of a modern-day Venice. Style, often understated, but certainly painstakingly considered. Gorgeous, present and welcoming. 

We were extremely enamored with this part of the world and will certainly be making another Scandinavian excursion. Like anything in life, the first time is learning the ropes. Our next trip I'm sure that we'll have more exciting culinary adventures. For now I'm happy to report that we ate well - and I came home feeling good and inspired to transform the experience into new creative endeavours.


4 comments:

  1. Ooooh, cardamom carrot cake sounds good! How nice to feel so confident with meal choices, it's rare indeed :)

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    1. Hello Intolerant! Yes - the cardamon carrot cake WAS amazing - possibly my favourite of their offerings. I'm posting shortly on a cake I made last week that was inspired by this gorgeous treat :)

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  2. This all sounds amazing! So glad you haven't had too much trouble finding good gluten-free foods. It's always a worry of mine when I travel :(

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    1. Hello Caroline - so happy you are a regular visitor now! I too have some anxiety about food on the road... I prepare the best I can, and lower my standards somewhat (not gluten-wise, of course!). Some psyching up is key :) Luckily the travels were not overshadowed by the food.

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