We’ll be heading off to Denmark next week and I’m already looking forward to some good old-fashioned flødebolle or negerinnen tetten (as we say in very politically incorrect flemish). But I recently read this interesting article on ice cream in Denmark. Quite hilarious:
It’s an odd word even for a language that calls vanilla wafers gentlemen-in-waiting (kammerjunker). But if you’re going to order the perfect “old fashioned” ice cream cone in Denmark, you need to know that guf, which can refer to anything yummy to eat — especially candy and cakes — in this case refers a creamy substance that covers the entire cone like molten lava. This topping, made by mixing whipped egg whites with sugar, is a bit like marshmallow fluff.
With or without guf is just one of many decisions you face when ordering an “old fashioned” in Denmark. First the aroma of fresh-baked waffle cones wafts out from the ice cream stand, drawing you in. But before you can enjoy your treat, you need to decide about the ice cream. How many balls (scoops) do you want as the base for your creation? And what flavors should they be? For reasons I can’t fathom, Danes seem to love licorice ice cream — but then they love licorice in almost everything. Any flavor is sure to taste amazing, because it’s all made with fresh Danish cream. It’s no accident that Denmark ranks as one of the top ice-cream eating countries in the world.
The Danes love soft-serve ice cream (softis) as well. If you do order soft-serve, your choices are simpler. You can specify the size you want, from reasonable to gigantic. There are just a few flavors to choose from (although you may find licorice here too), and you can add sprinkles if you like.
Sprinkles in Danish are called drys, and although chocolate is the normal flavor, you may come across Tivoli or Harlequin drys in the bright colors of the famed Pantomime theater. And guess what — there is also licorice drys. You just can’t get the Danes away from their licorice, can you?
An alternative to guf as a base for the sprinkles on your cone is whipped cream, and although it is not as sweet as American whipping cream, it does make the cone more like an ice cream sundae. But instead of a cherry on top, the Danes add two more key ingredients: a dollop of strawberry jam and a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat called a flødebolle.
The jam is such an omnipresent feature on traditional cones that some ice cream stands have a squirt container hanging at the ready from the ceiling. The addition of a dollop of strawberry jam is a particularly Danish touch, but doesn’t come close to the national obsession with the flødebolle.
Denmark claims to be the country where the flødebolle originated in the early 1800s. Today it produces approximately 800 million of these chocolate-coated marshmallow treats every year, many of them destined to be pressed face up or face down in an old fashioned ice cream cone. The flødebolle, which is a bit like a Mallomar without the graham cracker base, is the crowning glory of a traditional Danish ice cream cone. It would be a shame to order one without it — and I promise, there’s never licorice hidden inside.