Sunday, March 14, 2010

A culinary shopping bag

This weekend my sister is traveling to Copenhagen, without me! We've had a tradition these last years, that is to have at least one trip to Copenhagen during spring. When in Copenhagen, I love to do some serious food shopping.

When traveling on the DFDS ferries between Oslo and Copenhagen you have access to both freezer, as well as cold rooms to store both frozen and fresh products.

Where to go and what to buy

As Denmark is connected to the common market, and Norway's not, you find a wide selection of international food at very reasonable prices in Copenhagen.

I used to do my shopping in the food hall at Magazin du Nord, at Kongens Nytorv. Then I discovered Irma, the delicatessen located in the basement of of Illums, the second large department store in downtown Copenhagen.

The prices are much lower at Irma, as this shop belongs to a large chain of low-price food stores. Now I always end up there when traveling to Copenhagen.

My culinary grocery bag - April 2009

Succulent and tender berberi duck breast

Berberi refers to the Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata).

Duck breast has become a favourite among many amateur cooks. Easy to prepare, and extremely tender, but very expensive here in Norway.

So if you buy 4 breasts In Denmark priced at 139 DKK (€18,70) per kilo, compared to what you have to pay in Norway NOK 399 (€49,80), this is a meat worth buying when going grocery shopping in Copenhagen.

Duck breasts are so wonderfully easy to prepare, and have an extremely tender and succulent meat.

Here is my way to prepare a perfect duck breast.
Berberi duck thighs

Duck thighs are equally delicious when prepared correctly. Whereas a breast is prepared in the pan and served pink in the middle, a thigh needs to bake in the oven for a long time at a low temperature.

Back in April 2009 you could buy duck thighs at 25% of the price you would have to pay in Norway. I bought 4 fresh French berberi duck thighs to be placed in the freezer and prepared later.

What did I make from them? Here are a few dishes made from the duck thighs from Illum.

Most countries have a domestic production of cured and smoked meats, including Norway. Few, however, make this products with success commercially. One of them is Italy.

As we are excluded from the European food market, imported cured meats are heavily taxed to protect the Norwegian domestic production, that sadly is inferior to high quality European products.

So products as this Bresaola is well worth buying for us Norwegians when traveling into the European market.

Parmacotto is a Parma based firm producing boiled ham, mortadella, fresh and cured meats.

See company website here

Bresaola is air dried salted beef left to cure for at least 2-3 months. It is seasoned with salt and spices as juniper berries, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Delicious served on a freshly baked, still warm focaccia and pesto. Yum!!!

Kelda soups

These soups are hardly worth buying from an economic point of view. They are relatively cheap, but I buy them for their taste, as Kelda soups are probably of the bests I have ever tasted.

The spicy Thai soup is surprisingly pungent, and have that fresh citrus character derived from lemon grass and lime leaves. The chicken Carib soup is equally tasty.

Recommended for those of you traveling to Copenhagen.

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