Doctor Scat – Jazz Master

Eating Frugally In Copenhagen

by on Jul.01, 2012, under Gigs

Eating Frugally in Copenhagen

Seth Kugel/The New York Times
A kartoffelmad, or traditional potato smorrebrod, at Dyrehaven.

“It’s become really hip to eat old-fashioned Danish food,” Nina A.S. Geist told me as we shared a kartoffelmad — an open-faced potato sandwich loaded with crispy fried onions — at Dyrehaven, a local cafe in the fun Vesterbro neighborhood of Copenhagen. It was great to hear this from a Dane, because from abroad what appears most hip about Danish cuisine is Noma, the world’s top-ranked restaurant for the second year running, according to Restaurant Magazine’s much-blabbed-about list.

Its chef, René Redzepi, has become a sort of king of “new Nordic” cuisine, which has spurred a worldwide trend toward foraging for ingredients, digging deeply into the past for recipes, then modernizing and adding a touch of whimsy (and a hefty surcharge).

Great trend. All for it, even when I can’t afford it. But for foreigners who dream of a Noma reservation: how much can you appreciate new Nordic cuisine if you have no idea what old Nordic cuisine is about? That’s why I decided to spend the first week of my Frugal Scandinavia summer tour in Copenhagen eating as much traditional Danish food as I could, for the cost of a single 20-course prix fixe meal at Noma, 1,500 Danish kroner (or $258 at 5.8 kroner to dollar), drinks not included.

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