Discovering Danish food: koldskål & kammerjunker

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“So we can have yoghurt and biscuits for dinner and that’s perfectly acceptable in Denmark?!”  This was my initial reaction when explained the concept of this dish, but I was quickly won-over and it is now essential to my happiness.


I’ve been fortunate enough to live like a local and dig a little deeper into the Scandi diet

Stereotypes of the Danish diet that have traveled to the UK include lashings of pickled herring, earnest open rye bread sandwiches, hipster bowls of mixed grains, streaky bacon, pints of Carlsberg, and of course, the famous Danish pastry. I absolutely love all of this (excluding the herring which I just can’t handle), but I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Copenhagen over the past couple of years, and I’ve been fortunate enough to live like a local and dig a little deeper into the Scandi diet. I’ll share my learnings in a series of posts over the next few months.


I’ll start with a unique summer dish, popular in Denmark since the early 1900s: koldskål & kammerjunkere (pronounced kol-skol and kamer-yunge… kind of!). “Koldskål” translates to “cold bowl”, and can be described as a buttermilk and yogurt soup with vanilla biscuits (kammerjunker) floating on top.  This was quite a strange concept for this Brit. I reasoned that perhaps it could be acceptable as a breakfast food (it’s early after all, so you can’t be expected to make sensible choices) but in fact, it is eaten at any time of day and is classed as a proper “dinner”- mind blowing!


It’s very easy to find these elements ready-made in even small Danish supermarkets, but back in the UK, I had to get inventive and head to the kitchen to make it from scratch…

In the kitchen- the thumb squashing part is very satisfying!

the taste is refreshing, tangy, and not too sweet- perfect for summer days

This was a good learning experience and now actually understand the dish: essentially a mixture of buttermilk, natural yoghurt, and egg yolks, sweetened and flavoured with lemon juice and vanilla extract. The simple biscuits are made with wholemeal flour and flavoured with vanilla, and I opted to serve with raspberries for some zing (and added “superfood” points). The taste is very refreshing, tangy, and not too sweet- perfect for summer days, while the kammerjunker are seriously addictive and provide a crunchy element so it feels like a substantial meal.


I’ll hand over to the experts for a recipe and method- I followed the recipe in this lovely blog.


Further tales of unusual world cuisine coming soon! Follow on Instagram for more tempting photos of delicious Danish foods, and subscribe for email updates on future mouth-watering posts…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *