Nerdy obsessive food-observations follow:
I came up with a parallel yesterday that I have been struggling to formulate but just couldn’t pinpoint properly. Then I sort of mentally dismissed it as uninteresting stuff (my BF call me nerdy about food and often I shut my trap about my observations), thinking they might be uninteresting to people who isn’t so … obsessed. But then I came upon Stensamlers tweet and I felt … comforted.
She writes: “de danske sandwiches med alt det der 1000-et-eller-andet-snask, de ALTID putter i“. She lives in Italy (too) but while her observation is almost identical to mine, the parallel I will draw (sooner or later =)) is all mine.
In my opinion much Danish food is very… abundant in ingredients.
My man and I stopped for lunch in a local roadside cafè and ordered the omelette with tomatoes. Nice and simple, I had mouthwatering visions of fluffy eggy omelette, maybe (please please) with small sweet Danish tomatoes and a clipping of purloeg. Maybe even rugbroed. OOOOh, be still my roaring stomach =).
The plate that was served was … slightly different. I cannot say it was bad per se, but I don’t understand … the casting of the ingredients. The omelette was not fluffy at all because the tomatoes had been incorporated into it, dampening the eggs and thus weighing down everything. It had a nice decoration of salad, that was a mixture of babyspinach, lollo, and rucola. Nice enough with a little salad but combining 3 of the bitter salads seems …. thoughtless. To top it off, a generous drizzle of vinegar and a helping of pesto. (pesto? ) That is for pasta in Italy. It is so good when it’s good that you eat it on pasta on its own. I love babyspinach, but I would slice it finely and eat it raw with a nice dressing or steam it a tiny bit, add good butter and eat it like that. Rucola’s lovely with something sweet (pear, melon, tomatoes) to counterbalance that bitterness. Just seems like overkill to serve all these together.
And that is probably what I’m trying to say. While it may all be a question of taste, and thus cannot really be discussed, it seems to me that no one ingredient is allowed to take centerstage while the other ingredients support that one main deliciousness. Less is not more in Danish cuisine. I couldn’t taste the eggs for the tomatoes and viceversa. They may very well have been the sweet chunky morsels I longed for, but as it were, they just heavied down what could have been a fluffy omelette. The spinach with the lollo and rucola just seemed too bitter and hard to the bite and I never discovered whether it was good pesto on its own, the taste of it was overwhelmed by the whole salad symphony.
And this is where I will draw my parallel. Because I find the Danish society to be much the same. No-one is really allowed to sink too deep or rise too high (maybe allowed is not the strict word, but we do have Janteloven =) – we are all very equal and we all have the same rights, the same possibilities.
Vi skal alle have lov at vaere her!
In Italy there is very much difference between rich and poor. Whole families survive one month with what I made in one month. And I assure you, I didn’t have that much of a paycheck. Politicians earn in two months what the average family earn in a year. People are allowed to rise up or fall back. Much as the Italian food. Pesto is eaten on pasta. You might add a little parmigiano because it is good, but pesto is divine on its own. My preferred (and I share that favourite with a lot of my Italian friends) sandwich is the Panino al Prosciutto (bread and ham. Yes. Nothing else) – bread is good and Prosciutto is fab when it’s good.
I wish my tomatoes (or the lovely baby spinach or the fluffy omelette) wouldn’t have had to fight for my attention. I wish one of them had been allowed to take centerstage and rise above the rest.