December 29, 2008


It is interesting how people in different areas of the world adapt their cuisine depending on the climate. The winters in Denmark, although perhaps not very cold, are still cold enough, dark and windy and the Danish cuisine can be defined as heavy and hardy. Especially the cooking done in winter is renowned for its high energy content (or fat content) to keep the Scandinavians warm and strong.
In the old times, the main culinary problem with the long winters was the lack of vegetables for extended period of time. In Denmark people found a marvelous source of vitamins in a very interesting plant called "grønkål". It can be translated as "green cabbage". It is a cabbage like plant, with spinach like leaves, high in vitamins (A, B and C) and very hardy, surviving easily the cold winters this far up north. It is very undemanding and can grow anywhere, even on the sandy beaches around the North Sea. This interesting plant can additionally grow new leaves in the winter, if the weather turns slightly milder during a few days. In the past, people that could grow the “grønkål” would have significantly lower rate of diseases.

The cabbage is still today sold in stores, mostly frozen and precooked. It can be served as addition to other meals or as a dish on its own, so called "grønlangkål", where the finely chopped vegetable has been mixed with spices, salt, sugar and milk. It resembles a hardy, stew liked soup and tastes excellent when served with sausages and/or potatoes.
Grønlangkål is definitely one of my favorite meals comes winter.


Michelle H. said...

I'm not too fond of cabbage. But I love spinach! A plant that is sort of like both would have me tempted to try it out.

Gal Friday said...

Hmmm...might translate into English as KALE? It grows in the cold here, too. I like to make a poit of Portuguese Kale Soup in the winter.
(I have even stir-fried kale before with some sesame seed oil and garlic...very tasty)

Betsy Brock said...

It looks just like our kale! I buy 4 big bunches of it weekly for our pet rabbit.

Diane said...

It does look like kale. I love cabbage... love spinach... so spinchy-cabbage (or cabbagey-spinace!) would be yummy.

It's quite warm here right now, but I think I'm going to make a pot of good homemade soup this week. Love me some soup!

Pearl said...

They're saying what I was thinking: Looks like kale!

Greetings from a Czech/Slovak/Dane mix from Minnesota. :-)


Keera Ann Fox said...

That "grønlangkål" sounds like good soup stock. We don't have it in Norway, though we do have "grønnkål" (which how we spell it).

Holly said...

WOW! I love a good green salad, and I even crave brussel sprouts, but I am having a hard time convincing myself that I would try that dish. I do not like boiled spinach, and that is what it resembles to me :).

You know what Protege...I would try it. I am convinced that I would try it just for you! ;)

Femin Susan said...

This is amazing!! I am so glad to found your blog!
You are welcomed to my blog…….
" A Happy New Year''

Mahmud Yussop said...

Just wonder whether 'gronlangkal'is fine with coconut milk? Hmmm...

Zuzana said...

Michelle, please do try it; if you love spinach, you will love this. And as all the smart bloggers have said in their comments above; it is apparently called “Kale”.;))

Gal Friday, you are absolutely correct. Thank you! I searched the net for Kale and the information I found makes it sound completely as the same kind of vegetable. How interesting, I never ever ate this while living in the US. But then again I lived in the southeast, where the climate is mild and perhaps Kale is not that often served. The fried variety sounds delicious.;)

Betsy, your rabbit must be very healthy!;) How fun with a pet like that, they were very popular here when I was a teenager. ;)

Diane, you are right, as everyone else here, it is Kale. Soup sound lovely! Here it has cooled down considerably and during the day it is freezing as well. There might be even snow in store for us comes weekend.;)

Pearl, welcome! How fantastic that we share common roots!;) I have never been to Minnesota, but I know there are many Scandinavians living there.;)) Thank you for stopping by.;))

Keera, yes we too have grønkål.;) I thoroughly enjoy discovering the many similarities and differences between the two Scandinavian countries by visiting your blog and reading your comments.;)

LOL Holly, you do not like spinach?;)) I have tried eating spinach prepared in such way, that I almost could not eat it. I was boring and tasteless; pretty much like eating grass!;) However, when it is mixed with some eggs, milk (or cream, as my mother would use) and salt, it taste heavenly.;)) Try it.;))

Hello Susan, I am happy you enjoyed reading this.;) Thank you for stopping by, I will for sure return the visit.;))

Mahmud, no idea, but it definitely would be worth a try. It would be an arctic-exotic mix and perhaps quite a success.;)))