Danish buns

While most of us know the first day of Spring to be March 20th, in Denmark they make up their own rules and this year it fell on Saturday, March 1st,, or so I am told. It has something to do with reaching a certain temperature , which I’ll tell you, didn’t go above 4C (40 Fahrenheit). One thing is for sure though… it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside the Danes love their ‘IS’ better known as ice cream. It could be snowing out and you will still see people taking a walk and eating ice cream. It must be the Viking blood. Anyway, I’ve decided to join this madness. This weekend everyone’s favorite seasonal ice cream shop opened, Paradis Café, or at least I like to think of it as a favorite. Why? Because this ice cream is like crack.  Yes it’s like a drug. I was never a huge fan of ice cream (aside from Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey) until I moved to Denmark. Now I find myself waiting for Paradis to open its doors, alongside the rest of the Danes (see picture below). Maybe its because its made fresh every day, using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. This is how I justify going back, on a regular basis. Now my California friends… if Paradisyou are interested in tasting this ‘drug like’ ice cream you are in luck! Our friendly Danes helped open up a franchise in Southern California. Paradis Café can be found in Montrose, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Huntington Beach. So if you are taking a stroll on a winter or summer day and come across this place fabulous spot give it a shot.

The ice cream is worth it ...
The line on “opening day”.

Since we started our weekend with our drug, umm I mean ice cream of choice, we decided why not continue it with a hyggelig brunch. So off we went to Hillerød, a beautiful Danish town north of københavn. It’s especially known for Frederiksborg Castle, which is conveniently located in the center of town. The oldest parts of the castle date back to 1560, but most of the palace was constructed between 1602-1620. It was built as a royal residence and is now a

Frederiksborg Castle
Frederiksborg Castle

museum of natural history.  There you will find a variety of Danish cafes serving brunch on Sunday mornings. We stopped in at the Café København. Quite a spread which consisted of eggs, bacon, lox, fresh meats, cheeses, pastries or “danishes’ (as I like to refer to them just to remind people that I am indeed an American) and Schnapps , for most Danes a tradition.  Unfortunately I can’t handle the Schnapps at 10am so I  settle for MY traditional mimosa. Overall I really do enjoy the brunch but I mostly like going here for a beautiful walk around the castle and of course the shops along the way.
Café København (Torvet 4 3400 Hillerød).


Much to my surprise the day continued with more Danish traditions. It was time to celebrate Fastelavn. This day is similar to Carenvale, only that these days its more of a day for the kids to dress up and bang on a barrel, similar to a piñata, that holds candy and a black cat. You must bang on this barrel, break it open, and the last person to knock down the last piece of the barrel, which is suppose to be the figure of the poor black cat, wins a prize and becomes the kattekonge (“king of cats”). The black cat is supposed to ward off evil.

Fastelavnsbolle - aka a danish
Fastelavnsbolle – aka a danish

And of course there is a pastry/bun associated with this holiday, as there is with most holidays in Denmark, the Fastelavnsbolle (Shrovetid buns). It’s a round sweet roll usually covered with icing and sometimes filled with whipped cream.

And last but not least there is a song to accompany the bun…

Danish                                        Fastelavn er mit navn,
boller vil jeg have.
Hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.
Boller op, boller ned
boller i min mave.
Hvis jeg ingen boller får,
så laver jeg ballade.
English translation:                             Shrovetide is my name,
buns I want.
If I get no buns,
I will make trouble.
Buns up, buns down
buns in my tummy.
If I get no buns,
I will make trouble.

Bottom line, don’t mess with the Danes and their buns (or sweets :)).

Til next time mine venner (my friends)!


5 thoughts on “Danish buns”

  1. I love your story on Denmark and how the people enjoy them selves, and how you called the pastries Danishes (indeed an American ) is hilariarious! I didn’t know anything about (these people and place) now I sound like Dan ( these people) he didn’t know Italians existed till he met me and now thats how I feel about the Danish !

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