The traditional Danish Christmas meal is roast pork, boiled potatoes, red cabbage and gravy, although in recent times roast duck and goose have become popular. For dessert, the classic dish is ris à l’amande; cold rice pudding with whipped cream, vanilla, almonds and hot cherry sauce, or ‘risengrød’ (hot rice pudding). A peeled almond is hidden in the dessert bowl and the lucky finder of the almond gets a present.
Most Danes will attend one or more Christmas lunches in December. Christmas lunches are a traditional way to extend Christmas celebrations out beyond the close family, to friends and colleagues, and to get Danes in the festive mood nice and early! Book your own Christmas lunch in Denmark - most hotels and restaurants offer special Christmas dishes on their menus and cater for festive groups. Menus might include traditional foods such as smoked salmon, herring or liverpâté with bacon and mushrooms. Wash it all down with a Christmas beer, a celebratory glass of wine or, if you're really brave, a shot of Christmas snaps.
Every year, on the first Friday in November, Tuborg releases its new Christmas beer. Called 'Julebryg' in Danish, the annual Christmas Brew is darker and stronger than traditional lager. The day the new Christmas Brew is released, J-Day, has become a popular celebration in itself. Look out for Tuborg's delivery lorries around this time and watch the traditional Christmas Brew advert, which to many Danes signifies the start of the Christmas season.
The last two weeks before Christmas the great baking period begins and many families are busy baking their favourite cakes and biscuits, using traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation. Some of the most popular Danish Christmas biscuits are: ginger snaps, vanilla biscuits or gingerbread hearts. Sweet toothes are well catered for as Danes make sweetmeats and candies out of marzipan, chocolate fudge, almonds, dates, hazelnuts and crystallized fruits and berries. You won't be able to resisit Danish Christmas treats!
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Read more about different Danish food.
Return to our Christmas in Denmark page.
Pick up a warming glass of Gløgg, Danish mulled wine (pronounced Gloog), when out and about Christmas shopping!