As a Dane, there is no summer without koldskål and no koldskål without summer!
Having lived abroad for most of my life, I have always been fascinated with the cultural differences when it comes to food. Here in Switzerland, local dishes are dominated by the use of cheese in for example raclette, rösti and cheese fondue – dishes that people eat frequently but that you would never find outside of Switzerland. Similarly, Lance, my American fiancé could not believe that I had never in my life had pumpkin pie before we started dating. Given how much I love pumpkin pie now, I cannot believe myself either how I could possibly miss out on this for the first 20 years of my life!
From a Danish perspective, there are also several dishes/foods that you wonder how other people get by without. Proper dark bread, Danish pastries (trust me – what they sell in other countries marked as “Danish Pastries” is nothing like the real thing!) and koldskål, just to name a few.
So what exactly is koldskål? I think the closest I can describe it is a cold sweet soup with a lemon vanilla flavor. It can be eaten as dessert, but us Danes like to eat it at anytime during the summer. Be it for breakfast, dinner, dessert or a snack in between meals! It is normally served with strawberries and kammerjunkere, which Lance claims taste exactly like Nilla Wafers. As I´ve never had Nilla wafers myself I can´t vouch for this but they are small compact and crunchy cookies that are only very lightly sweetened. Combined with the lemon vanilla flavor of the koldskål, this makes the dish refreshing rather than sweet. Which is why it can be enjoyed at anytime of the day! 🙂
- 400g silken tofu
- 1 cup milk of choice (I used cashew milk)
- 10 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1/4 cup granulated sweetener of choice (I used Xylitol)
- Top with strawberries and kammerjunkere
Grate and squeeze the lemons so that you have the lemon zest and lemon juice ready to go.
Add all other ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Gradually add the lemon juice and lemon peel until it has the desired taste. I like mine with a rather strong lemon taste for it to be more refreshing, so you may want to use less than what the recipe calls for here.
Pour into bowls and serve cold with strawberries and kammerjunkere.
Koldskål is meant to be refreshing on a hot summer day. It is therefore best enjoyed very cold! If your ingredients aren´t cold when you blend them, put the koldskål in the fridge for half an hour before serving.
As mentioned, everyone likes their koldskål a little different. Experiment with the amount of lemon and vanilla you use until you find the level that is right for you.
I´m sure you´re wondering where the recipe for kammerjunkere is. I haven´t created this yet, but am working on it. Until the recipe is ready to be posted on the blog, serve either with just strawberries or with strawberries and Nilla Wafers.
What´s your favorite national dish? I can´t wait to hear!