Notes from Abroad – Tabatha Pilon Shares her Christmas in Denmark – December 29, 2011

CFN – As the Christmas season is upon us, I have been privilidged to have the opportunity to taste all the traditional Danish Christmas dishes.Leading up to Christmas, it is very common to have some Christmas “snacks”, which are called “Æbleskiver” and “pebernødder”.

Æbleskivers are very similar to Timbit’s. Although, while it may look like a Timbit from the outside, the inside isn’t the same consistency as a Timbit. Æbleskivers have a hint of apples and lemons (in my opinion) and are usually dipped in jam— most commonly “Solbær” flavoured, which is “Black Currant”— and then dipped in icing sugar. They are quite delicious and definitely recommendable!

Pebernødders are a small little ginger-flavoured cookie. They are about the size of the pad of your thumb and are just like miniature gingerbread men.   Along with those snacks, we also have two dishes that involve rice— risalamande and risengrød. It’s hard to describe these two dishes exactly, but google translates them to “rice à l’impératrice and rice porridge”.
They both have the same kind of consistancy which, is very similar to porridge. The tastes in both dishes are quite different, as risengrød has cinnamon and butter in it and nothing is added into the risalamande. Risalamande is the dish that is more common in the holiday season, as the cooker inserts an almond into the mix, and to whomever finds the nut, receives a gift!   
For the traditional Christmas meal, it usually includes: “brunekartofler”— caramalized potatoes, “flæskesteg”—pork roast (the ends are crispy), “kartoffelsalat”— potato salad, “sild”—Herring, and “frikadeller”—meatballs.   I’m looking forward to having the Christmas meal this weekend, even though I have already tried it all before!  In general, I find that the food in Denmark is a lot healthier than in North America, as there are a lot less processed foods or “made-easy” foods. It is more common for everyone to make things from scratch—especially bread! Although, you can buy bread from the store, but mostly it is either buns or it is from a bakery. What Canadians refer to as ‘bread’ is called ‘toast’ here. [also, my first host-family had never even heard of a machine that makes your bread!]As this holiday weekend is upon us, I would like to extend my warm Christmas wishes to everyone reading this! (Or whichever holiday you shall celebrate this weekend!) May God bless you all and your family’s too.   Glædig Jul fra Danmark!

Tabatha Pilon is a 17 year old student from Cornwall Ontario spending a year in Denmark.   She will be writing to us  each week or as her “gymnasium” schedule allows.  If you have questions for her or would like to sponsor her column email us at

Choose Cornwall

Leave a Reply