As we’ve been getting out and about on the coast here over the sunny weekends, it’s becoming apparent just how much seafood figures into the summer scene here. It’s likely no surprise that seafood is a thing here – in the wintertime too. Some of the best salmon is here and we must grill it about once a week at home. All the more interesting since neither my husband nor I really cared for it before, mostly because what we’ve gotten in the past is of a somewhat vintage quality so it doesn’t quite taste the same.
The salmon is nearly always from the Norwegian coast and fishmongers love to claim it was swimming in Norwegian waters just yesterday. Cold water fish (think mackerel and its assorted cousins) factor in heavily as well, which I’m still working on developing a taste for, but there are all sorts of fish local to the Danish coast. As we visit these little towns, it’s pretty common to see the fillets breaded up and fried, served fish’n’chips style. And they are indeed fresh off the boat. And note, you can never have too much Danish “remoulade” in my opinion (a kind of tartar type sauce with pickles and onions and mayonnaise – trust me, once you get used to it, there is no going back).
Rounding it all out are the shellfish categories. I had always heard that this the stuff of summer days in Scandinavia…peeling shrimp, lemon, bread w/ mayonnaise….a good way to make a sunny afternoon go by. When we popped into a seafood shop in Gilleleje where you could see the lovely shrimpies below, I asked where they were from. Even though as soon as it came out of my mouth, I was worried I would sound dumb – somehow not recognizing that I was standing right next to a fleet of fishing boats. But I had meant, which part of the Scandinavian Coast they would be from. Turns out, it was worth asking. Although we were in a “fresh off the boat” seafood town, the shrimpies were actually from a farm in China. And I asked about local ones, and the fishmonger just replied that Danish shrimp were just too expensive…And she also pointed out no one really asks. Turns out that even in a little bitty fishing town, there’s always a bit of globalization to be found.