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Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen's most iconic and popular areas, with a long and fascinating history dating back to the 18th century. Back then, Nyhavn was created as a harbor for commercial and cargo ships, as Copenhagen was experiencing significant economic growth at the time.
Sailors were the first to find their way to Nyhavn. They were attracted to the busy harbor where they could trade, find employment and relax at inns and pubs.
Along with them came the joy girls who, with their great ability to embrace the men, dominated the upper floors of Nyhavn, in the small and colorful houses that are characteristic of the area.
Over the years, Nyhavn underwent several changes. In the 19th century, the harbor was modernized with bridges and better facilities, and it continued to thrive as a commercial port until the mid-20th century, when commercial activity declined significantly.
Today, Nyhavn is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The area is known for its many restaurants and bars serving traditional Danish dishes and drinks. One of the most iconic restaurants in Nyhavn is Hyttefadet.
Hyttefadet has been a fixture in Nyhavn since the 1720s and is one of the oldest restaurants in Copenhagen. It is known for its cozy atmosphere and traditional Danish dishes such as smørrebrød and stegt flæsk. Over the years, Hyttefadet has attracted a range of famous guests, including artists, writers and politicians.
One of the most remarkable features of Hyttefadet is the large painting of the famous Danish artist Asger Jorn on the facade. Jorn is said to have paid for beer by painting the rope that slings along the facade under the yellow neon sign. The painting on Hyttefadet is part of an important piece of Danish art history and has resulted in the facade of Hyttefadet being protected today.
But Hyttefadet has also become known for its role in Danish entertainment. According to a popular story, the famous Danish actor Dirch Passer was discovered at Hyttefadet when he performed for a group of his friends. A talent agent who was present at the restaurant was impressed by Passer's acting skills and immediately gave him a role in a movie. Dirch Passer later became one of the most beloved and successful actors in Denmark.
Today, Hyttefadet is one of the most iconic and historic restaurants in Nyhavn, still attracting a large number of visitors from around the world. With its lively and long history, Hyttefadet is a living testament to Nyhavn's history and culture
At Smørrebrød er ikke Mad
og Kierlighed er ikke Had
Det er for Tiden hvad jeg veed
Om Smørrebrød og Kierlighed”
– Johan Herman Wessel
As industrialization reached Denmark, the tradition of "Smørrebrød" emerged. Men had to bring packed lunches to work, and that's when they started having smørrebrød, which was a practical solution for their meals. The word "smørrebrød" literally means "butter on bread," referring to the practice of spreading butter or fat on slices of bread.
In the 1880s, smørrebrød began to take Danish restaurants by storm. They approached it with innovation and showcased the true potential of smørrebrød. Since then, smørrebrød has become a Danish classic, known and loved worldwide.
Smørrebrød is meant to be a convenient snack enjoyed outside the comforts of home, allowing you to satisfy your hunger on the go. The possibilities and variations of smørrebrød are endless, offering a wide range of choices:
Popular types of smørrebrød include:
Håndmad: "Håndmad" (Hand-food): A typical homemade snack made with a simple piece of bread, butter, and desired toppings. It's eaten by hand, as the name suggests, without the need for a knife and fork.
Amagermad: "Amagermad": Consists of a slice of French bread and rye bread layered with butter in between.
Klapsammen: "Klapsammen": A delightful, child-friendly smørrebrød that can be eaten without a knife and fork. It consists of fillings sandwiched between two pieces of bread. This makes it perfect for packed lunches and a great option to take on the go. It should not be confused with a sandwich!
Højtbelagt: "Højtbelagt" (Highly-layered): An upgraded version of håndmad enjoyed with a knife and fork. It is often served in restaurants. The distinguishing feature of this smørrebrød is its height and extravagant appearance achieved through layering.
Pindemadder: "Pindemadder": Typically enjoyed at standing events, pindemadder consists of bread with toppings and garnishes held together by a skewer, making it easy to grab from a passing tray.
"Smørrebrødslagkage" (Smørrebrød layer cake): A layer cake made with slices of wheat bread stacked with various fillings in between.
"Kanapé": A small, toasted wheat bread served with delicate toppings, often served as an appetizer or at receptions. Et lille, ristet hvedebrød der serveres med fint pålæg, som forret eller til receptioner.
All these options may be the reason why smørrebrød remains incredibly popular even after 170 years.
Smørrebrød is simple, tantalizes all taste buds, offers a taste of Danish history, and presents endless variations that continuously challenge our perception of what smørrebrød can be.
The Danish cuisine is known for its simplicity, freshness, and focus on quality ingredients. It is built upon a traditional agricultural culture and has a strong connection to seasonal produce. The history of Danish cuisine stretches back in time and has been shaped by various cultural and geographical influences. Despite evolving over time, Danish cuisine has always been characterized by simple and natural flavors.
In the old days, Denmark was an agricultural country where farmers grew grains and raised livestock. This heritage is still reflected in many traditional Danish dishes.
During the 20th century, there was a focus on preserving traditions and Danish culinary heritage. The country's economic prosperity led to an increased interest in quality ingredients and regional cooking. More restaurants emerged, serving both classic Danish dishes and modern creations based on Danish ingredients.
Today, Danish cuisine has gained international recognition and is famous for its Nordic approach that values simplicity, freshness, and sustainability. Danish chefs have received acclaim and awards for their innovative cooking techniques and the use of local ingredients.
The history of Danish cuisine is a story of traditions, agriculture, and change. It has evolved over time, adapting to new tastes and trends while preserving its proud heritage and love for quality ingredients.
Stegt flæsk med persillesovs, also known as crispy pork with parsley sauce, is a classic Danish dish deeply rooted in the country's traditional food culture. The dish consists of crispy fried pork served with parsley sauce and potatoes.
Stegt flæsk has its origins in Danish farming culture where pig farming was common. Pork was frequently used in many dishes as it was an accessible and nourishing source of protein. The crispy crackling on the pork is considered a delicacy, and it is said that the best flæsk comes from the old Danish pig breeds.
Persillesovs, or parsley sauce, is a simple sauce made from butter, flour, broth, and fresh parsley. It is a popular accompaniment to many traditional Danish dishes, adding flavor and freshness to the pork. Stegt flæsk med persillesovs is a hearty and satisfying dish that has become a favorite in Danish homes over the years.
Stjerneskud, or "shooting star," is a classic Danish fish dish consisting of a base of toasted or steamed bread topped with steamed and fried fish. Traditionally, plaice is used, but other fish varieties can also be used. The fish is served with shrimp, caviar, mayonnaise, and lemon.
The history of stjerneskud goes back to the 19th century when it became a popular dish in Danish coastal fish restaurants. The creative and colorful presentation resembling a starry sky made the dish a visual and gastronomic experience. Stjerneskud quickly became a favorite among both locals and tourists and continues to be an iconic part of Danish cuisine.
Wienerschnitzel with peas, or wienerschnitzel med dreng, is a dish originally from Austria but also has a place in Danish cuisine. The dish consists of thinly sliced and breaded veal cutlets, fried and served with potatoes and peas.
Historically, wienerschnitzel made its way to Denmark as part of the Austrian culinary influence on Danish cooking. The dish quickly became popular and has since become a classic in many Danish restaurants and homes.
These traditional Danish dishes, such as stegt flæsk med persillesovs, stjerneskud, and wienerschnitzel med dreng, represent different aspects of Danish food culture. They reflect historical traditions, local ingredients, and taste preferences, evolving over the years to become iconic dishes that bring joy and satisfaction to many Danes' dining experiences.