Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 4: Food from the Ugly Duckling

My new food blog is a little bit about the tastes of today - the tastes of the future - and the tastes of yesterday. I will spend a few of these 365 days talking not only about dishes I have made, but also about memorable experiences with friends in my tastings over the year.
When I announced my new food blog to a group of friends, a very good friend, author and Swedish journalist insured that all of my friends heard about my new blog. Andy Ekstrom, now author of some very popular books in Sweden, blogger and big Twitter user told another Swedish friend of mine about the new food blog.

If there is any wonder if I indeed have a passion for food, you can look to my past for validation.

Twenty eight years ago, when I was working for a youth group, even then, my friends endearingly referred to me as "The Stomach" (Thanks Brad Bungum) for that label!)

And then yesterday, when another good friend of mine, Stefen Alfredsson, from Malmo, Sweden, heard of my blog, he send this note to me and a few friends. I was backpacking through Europe for six months in the Autumn of 1994, and had a chance to stop over in Copenhagen to visit my friend Stefen.

Yesterday, Stefen wrote:

About 15-16 years ago, on a rainy December day in Copenhagen, I met up with Rick for a catch-up dinner when he was in town between his flights. We ended up at a restaurant in the very city center called "The ugly duckling" after the fairy tale by H C Andersen.

They had a Christmas All-you-can-eat offer, which is very popular at that time of the year. We were a little later than the crowd, and at the serving table, many of the dishes were close to finished. Before we decided to go for it, Rick asked if they were going to put fresh food out for us, which they promised to.

We had a lot to discuss and in order to keep track of the multiple discussion threads that came up, Rick had a small book where we added topics to talk about during the evening.

Quite soon, it became clear that the staff thought that we were "restaurant-spies", writing for some restaurant guide, tourist guide book or similar. Throughout the meal, they took extremely well care of us and they made an extra effort ensure that all food was fresh:-)

During this dinner, Rick also shared that he one day would like to do something like that - to write about food in one way or the other. So thank you Andy for putting a smile on my lips, and CONGRATULATIONS Rick to reaching one of your goals!!!

Later that evening, Rick and I had to leave a bar as we were less than 6 ft away from a fight. (The photo above is Stefen standing at the bar - just before the fight broke out - wondering if we could get our beers before we ran out of the bar...) 

A few minutes later there were more than 5 police cars with their sirens on, right outside the bar. Those memories... Cheers to you all!!

That was indeed a memorable night. And to prove it - here are a few photos - including the menu from that night:

I don't think The Ugly Duckling is still open. Indeed, it might have even been one of the restaurants attached to Tivoli. I can't remember. Anyone want to fill in the details?

Copenhagen is one of my favorite food cities. When I arrive to Copenhagen, I go straight for one of my top favorite foods in the world, the famous Danish polser.

(Stefen eating a Polser, back on Dec 2, 1994. When I arrived, it was indeed the very first thing I asked that we go eat!)

I reminds me that I need to get back there this year. And create new food memories.

Who will join me - or host me?

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