Traditional Danish cuisine has many similarities to the other cool Northern European countries. Traditional Danish food tends to be very rich and somewhat heavy. A dinner meal will usually be based around meat, potatoes and gravy. More often than not the meat will be pork. The Danes eat the most pork per capita in the world. Danes love to eat very traditional foods like porridge, open sandwiches and the classic roast pork with parsley sauce - of course served with a glass of good Danish beer!
Modern Danish cuisine has undergone many changes in recent years. The changes are generally geared towards making ‘lighter’ more healthy meals. Modern Danish cooking has been influenced heavily by France, Spain and Italy, and to a lesser degree China and Thailand. Yet the majority of older Danes are still content to stick with the more traditional Danish foods. It tends to be only the younger Danes who have adopted the more modern methods of Danish cooking, yet even these younger Danes truly appreciate a traditional meal.
It is very interesting to note that a very surprising high percentage of traditional Danish food items have been preserved in some way so that they will last longer. Many foods are preserved by salting, smoking, air-drying or pickling in brine.
Danes eat bread for breakfast. Typically, white bread slices or rolls with various toppings: cold cuts, slices of raw veggies, white cheese, butter, and jam. Danes are crazy about bread topped with a slice of mild, white cheese and a spoon of strawberry (or other type of) jam.
Lunch is usually a light meal often comprising a smørresbrød which is buttered rye bread served open faced with a variety of "pålæg," or toppings. Some of which include cold cuts, liver paté, fish spreads, laks (smoked salmon), frikadeller (danish meatballs) and cheese.
Dinner time is anywhere from 5:00 p.m. to 8 or even 9:00 p.m., the majority of Danes eat at 6:00 p.m. every night. In general terms, a typical dinner would consist of pork roast, boiled potatoes, gravy (Danes call it brown sauce), and steamed green beans. Of course there are hundreds of other items that comprise the Danish dinner.Fish, seafood, and meat are prominent parts of any traditional Danish dish. Cod, eel, herring, salmon, and shrimp are popular, as are other types of fish used to make fried fish for smørresbrød and fish frikadeller (fish meatballs).