Copenhagen is in the midst of a heatwave that promises to hold throughout the summer, and that means summer food is on the menu. Aside from the archetypal cold glass of Carlsberg, Copenhageners have plenty of other ways to refresh the taste buds on a hot summer day; some traditional, some more modern, and some a mix of both worlds.
- Ice Cream. The ubiquitous summer treat has evolved from the traditional soft ice and monster cones of the city’s old ice cream shops and can now boast of literally dozens of small, independent ice cream parlors offering all manner of home-made ice creams, from authentic Italian gelato to uniquely Copenhagen combinations.
The popular Danish franchise Paradis opened the first Copenhagen store in 2003, starting a trend for Italian-style, gelato ices that hasn’t died. Successful Paradis now has some 18 branches in and around Copenhagen, so you’re never far away from fresh ices made on the premises. According to local connoisseurs, however, some of the best ice cream in the city can be found in the tiny basement premises of Isobar at Havnegade 51 (between Nyhavn & Custom House) and the authentic Italian flavors of Vesterbro’s Siciliansk Is.
- One of the treats of the Danish summer is the locally-produced fruit and vegetables. Of these, the most traditionally associated with summer are the delicious, ripe strawberries, which can be picked up not only from local supermarkets but also at market stands around the city. Another summer treat are peas fresh from their pods (see pic); Danish children love to pick the peas straight out of the pods as a simple, healthy snack. One of the best places to find both delicacies is from the stalls on the bridge between Klampenborg Station & Bellevue Strand/ Dyrehavsbakken (by the pony & trap rides).
- By far the most Danish summer treat is the wonderfully cooling dessert of ‘koldskål.’ A dairy-based product made from buttermilk and egg and flavored with lemon and vanilla, this dessert is enjoyed with small, sweet biscuits called ‘kammerjunker.’ A number of restaurants in the city offer this as a dessert: one of the best is the homemade koldskål with fresh strawberries, ginger biscuits and mint offered at waterfront restaurant Charlottenlund Fort.
Photo courtesy of Niels Ahlmann Olesen.