Mark Twain and the Danish cuisine

Take part in the famous author's food experiences in Copenhagen

How did the famous author experience Danish food?

Twain visited Copenhagen in June 1867 and stayed for 3-4 days. While Mark Twain did enjoy some Danish dishes, he was also critical of certain aspects of Danish cuisine. In his travelogue, “A Tramp Abroad,” he wrote about his experiences with Danish food, both positive and negative.
(Note: I am not that found of ai-generated pictures, but here Twain in full color worked quite well.)

So what did Twain really think?

On the one hand, Twain was impressed by the variety of food available in Copenhagen. He wrote about trying smørrebrød, frikadeller, æbleskiver, and other traditional Danish dishes. He also enjoyed the pastries and cakes that were available in Copenhagen’s bakeries. He was also particularly impressed by the quality of the ingredients and the freshness of the food.

Mark Twain
Mark Twain. Photo by A. F. Bradley in New York, 1907

On the other hand, Twain also found some aspects of Danish cuisine to be unappealing. He was critical of the use of strong flavors, such as pickled herring and liver paste. He also found the portions to be small, and he often felt hungry after meals.

He was particularly impressed by the quality of the ingredients and the freshness of the food.

Overall, Twain’s experience with Danish cuisine was mixed. He enjoyed some aspects of it, but he also found some aspects to be unappealing. His criticisms of Danish cuisine reflect the cultural differences between the United States and Denmark.

And Twain´s verdict on some specific Danish cuisine…

Here are some specific examples of Twain’s comments about Danish cuisine:

Smørrebrød: “I am very fond of open-faced sandwiches, but I never could see the point of this one.”

Frikadeller: “They’re not bad, but they’re too bland.”

Æbleskiver: “These pancakes are a bit too sweet for my taste.”

Variety of food: “There’s a lot of variety in Danish cuisine, but I wish it wasn’t all so heavy.”

And the Portion sizes? “The portions in Denmark are very small. I often feel hungry after meals.”

What more? Twain’s impressions of Copenhagen and Denmark were overwhelmingly positive. He found the city to be charming, the people to be warm, the food to be delicious, and the culture to be rich. He left Denmark with a lasting appreciation for its unique character and beauty.

Now that we’ve talked about food and you want to see opportunities to eat cheaply in Copenhagen, have a look at my post here.

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