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Danish Town in California

We left Monterey and drove to Solvang, a small Danish town (settlement). There, we walked around downtown for a few hours. There are many Danish restaurants and food establishments as well as quite a few Danish bakeries. Certainly more than we have seen anywhere else in the US.

For lunch we, naturally, opted for traditional Danish sausage with meatballs, and deep fried chicken. Each dish came with a bowl of green mixed salad as a starter. Since we were quite hungry we completely forgot about the size of the dishes served in this country. Once finished eating we were — mildly put — a bit disappointed, as the food, quite honestly, tasted like nothing. And certainly didn’t measure up to anything anyone would be serving in Denmark. Besides the food, I had a strawberry-dipped-in-chocolate from one of the bakery shops. And again, I’m sad to report that the experience wasn’t all that fulfilling. It may not be a fair comparison, but the chocolate was nothing like the Belgian chocolate I’m used to. In short, I did not realise until I visited the US that I have a rather high standard when it comes to food. Or maybe I’m just picky. In Solvang, you can find many kinds of Danish pastry. Just like in Denmark. However, it is not exactly made as in the mother country. For example, “Tebirkes”, a pastry commonly served for weekend breakfasts or special occasions, is made from thin butter dough folded into 21 layers then filled with sugar, mixed with egg-whites and garnished with poppy seeds. In Denmark, you can easily see through each layer, attributing to the fragile nature of a piece of pastry, whereas in Solvang you could not see any layering when looking from the side.   Architecture and atmosphere in Solvang is similar to Denmark of yore. But if you ask me whether it’s an authentic Danish town my response would be an unequivocal no. It’s like the Tebirks I mentioned. Almost, but not exactly!

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