Our food tour of Copenhagen was a short walk from the hotel. Maria, our guide and food expert along with ten others, greeted us at the appointed hour of 10:30AM. We were surprised to discover that two other couples in our food group were on the same Windstar Cruise with us! We began in the second hall of a two-building farmers’ market/hand-crafted fresh produce venue. We began with cheese with a tomato jam and a sip of Malus X - an apple wine (Denmark does not produce wine from grapes). Another plate of jams and candy from the small island of Bornholmer (Population 40,000) completed our tour of the area.
As we walked to the top of the only hill in Copenhagen, we enjoyed the warm summer weather. Maria noted that unlike last year with only five summer days, this year had so far experienced over 40 such days. Maria had promised to introduce us to her ‘friends’ at the top of the hill in the Botanical Gardens. In the shade of a large tree, she told us of the decrease of honey bees worldwide due to the overuse of pesticides. A program to breed and sustain the bee population by having hives in metropolitan regions gave us the name of her ‘friends’, the bees. By hiring out of work people, Copenhagen has set up places to establish hives which we saw behind a fenced-off area. She let us sample two honeys. One was from these hives and the other was from hives in her region of the city. Both were delicious and distinctively different. The taste comes from the type of vegetation the bees frequent.
Our next stop was to a restaurant to have a sampling of four types of the traditional Danish open sandwich, the smorrebrod. As we walked to our next stop, we passed what were called ‘potato houses’ which were built for workers at the dawn of the industrial revolution. Today they are trendy (expensive over 2 million $$$) upscale houses! Our journey passed the manmade Copenhagen Lakes which are very low for this time of the year due to a drought. A fresh breeze wafted off the lake, cooling us. Swans were foraging in the shallows. The lakes were built as reservoirs, but the water was not potable - only good for washing. That lead to the establishment of the brewing industry. Beer is made from boiled water (thus making it safe to drink) and grains and hops (a preservative). Everyone drinks beer in Copenhagen with a low alcohol version for children!
Our next stop was to a micro-brewery (Norrebro Bryghus) for a sampling of three different brews. Besides sampling these fine tasting beers, we learned what the term “IPA” means. India Pale Ale - a brew with an increased amount of hops to preserve it for long ocean voyages.
There were three more stops on our food tour. It was a long walk to the famous hot dog stand and we passed our hotel on the way. Maria mentioned that we were now passing the Famous Hotel Petri! Around the corner, we indulged in a hot dog with all the fixings which included mustard, roulade, pickles, onions, and oh yes, a roasted, skinny wiener. Sweets were the final stop first at a hard candy store with owners in the 4th generation and then back to the market where we had started the tour for some delicious chocolates. Needless to say, only a light dinner was needed that evening.