it's hard to believe that for a few days vegetables were the center of attention in the capital city of the infamous pork-loving country. i was honoured to be a guest of grøntsagsfestival (vegetable festival) as a part of the madblogger's symposium, and was pleasantly surprised by many of the sights. it took place at the edge of vesterbro, a borough of copenhagen in which i never would have thought to look for a market. the first thing that caught me off guard was one of the cooks.
camilla plum was standing behind the counter and filling little sample cups with her chili marmalade, which she loudly dared everyone to try. it was pretty weird to me that a cook who had several tv shows and cookbooks was here making our brunch. but i guess the few danish celebrities that exist don't let it get to their head. i'm a big fan of ms. plum's but i didn't want to bother her with my starstruck danglish babble. i just gaped and of course took her up on her offer.
from the counter we got fresh scrambled eggs with onions and tomato, virgin bloody marys, the chili marmalade, and a sample of finely chopped cauliflower with lemon. the buffet table had roasted root vegetables, breads, gooey and hard danish cheeses, an iceberg salad with blue cheese and figs, and fresh vegetables. for some reason i choose to try some strangely coloured carrots; i think it's safe to say i don't hate carrots any more. they were sweet, tender, and crisp - not at all the woody and tasteless sticks i remembered from lunches past. everything on our plates was so delicious but those damn carrots are what i remember most.
i wonder if anyone missed the meat. (:
after brunch, i tried to look around a bit at the lovely organic danish produce for sale at shockingly reasonable prices. but of course denmark being denmark, it started to threaten rain. i headed inside oksnehallen to play it safe and realized there was a little food convention going on inside! i really thought that the market and vegetable brunch was all there was! and free entrance was also a gift from the madblogger symposium. there were free samples, some larger samples that required payment, and demonstrations. i don't think the samples above were free but i'm not sure i had the energy to try one anyway... from left to right: something with rosemary, pineapple and roquefort, bacon and tomato, fois gras and raspberry, goat cheese and thyme.
i tasted wine, juice, chocolates, cheeses... but that wasn't why i was so happy. it was so refreshing to see demonstrations on how to clean/cook wild game and trying to educate kids on bread and sushi. teaching young and old alike how the food on our plates comes to be. it was a very well-arranged event and i'm glad i got to see it for myself. i wish at least the market would come around more than one weekend out of the year; this is all good stuff! another step in the right direction.
a lemongrass plant, chocolates, and a huge basket of danish mushrooms almost came home with me. many products were tempting me to buy them that day, but i only got away with an organic danish squash, a small box of organic danish purple potatoes, rhubarb-strawberry juice, and a habanero chili plant from camilla plum herself. her presence must have clouded my judgement because it was only after i got home that i realized i have no idea what to do with habaneros. suggestions?
anyway, big thanks to rasmus and marie for setting this series of events in motion. i feel so privileged to have taken part and now i have hope for the future of danish food. (: