samedi 22 juin 2013

Things that surprise me about Denmark - Where is the ketchup?

You can find ketchup in pretty much any shop in Denmark. Ketchup is certainly not hard to find. So what is this post about? 

I have noticed over the past few months that whenever I order fries/chips, they are served with a remoulade sauce.  Now, remoulade sauce exists in France, but I have only really seen people eat it with a beef fondu. The only remoulade sauce I have seen in France comes in a small glass jar. I tried it once but didn't like it so I never ate it again. Here in Denmark it's everywhere; it seems that some Danes will eat it with anything. The colour of Danish remoulade is lighter than its French counterpart, which tends to be more yellow in colour. The Danish remoulade often tastes like pickles, and they pride themselves in serving you their own homemade remoulade in a glass bowl. 

Fish and chips in Denmark. Author of photo: Den Nation.


I'm not a big mayonnaise fan so I am really hesitant to eat remoulade. I am always eating tomatoes so it's no surprise that I love my ketchup! I don't refuse remoulade when I am served it, but I always ask for ketchup. Imagine my surprise when they tell me that they don't have any ketchup, that they only have remoulade. The first time, I was in such shock that I repeated the question when I was told no because I thought the person helping me didn't understand my question. 

I realise that Danes love eating this sauce with fish. I usually order fries/chips from a place that sells fish and chips. I just can't let go of my North American ideas, though, how can a place that sells fries/chips not have ketchup?! Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever seen a chippy (place where you can buy fish and chips) in the UK that didn't have any ketchup. Even France has always had ketchup for me, haha. 

So no, it doesn't happen very often that there is no ketchup, but whenever it does happen I am surprised because ketchup seems to be so readily available here and fast food is everywhere. I have eaten fries/chips in many European countries and have never been to a European country that physically didn't have ketchup in their café, not in my experience at least!

Danish remoulade. Author of photo: Den Nation.


I'm not shooting down Danish remoulade, though. I had my doubts about it, but actually, much to my surprise I like the stuff. Fries/chips do taste good with remoulade. I like its sweet and sour taste.

For those of you who live in France, do you eat remoulade sauce? Is it more popular in a certain region? Do you like it? And for anyone in Denmark, do you like the Danish remoulade?



11 commentaires:

  1. I think ketchup is really a North American thing. Feng loves it and he was shocked to see that in NZ and Australia, for instance, you sometime have to pay for it at fast food restaurants. And he claims ketchup at McDonalds in France doesn't taste the same.

    I don't usually have ketchup. I don't mind the taste but I don't need it, know what I mean? I like mustard though, especially the French "Maille". I used to love the mayo that comes with the fries at McDonalds when I was a teen! I don't eat so much mayo now, I got wiser :-D

    I have never heard of remoulade sauce, just the dish, "céleri rémoulade". Harrissa sauce (spicy) is also quite popular in France. Here in Canada, I cook a lot with siracha!

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    1. Years ago I was really disgusted in Germany when I realised that I had to buy ketchup in McDonalds. How can something so essential (to my North American brain) when eating a burger and fries be charged? Ketchup on fries and a hamburger is like putting salt on potatoes.

      Well, I looked at Heinz's ketchup ingredients and France's Heinz ketchup has no glucose in it. Maybe that would explain the difference in taste?

      Yeah, I know what you mean - you're French! haha, my husband is exactly like you, he doesn't need ketchup, but he needs French mustard. I have to admit, I quite like eating French mustard with meat now.

      Every time I eat a spicy sauce in France I am disappointed. The sauce is never spicy! I only just discovered Siracha in Germany. That sauce is awesome - it's just the right spicyness! I wonder if I could find Siracha in France?

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  2. I love my ketchup too! What people put on chips is a real cultural thing though. in Scotland (a country of five million people) we even have a difference between east coast and west coast: in the west it's salt and vinegar and in the east it's salt and sauce, where the sauce is a strange mix of HP brown sauce and vinegar. You can see how I ended up.preferring the American way!

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    1. HP brown sauce and vinegar? I've never heard of people eating that on chips. It's sounds like the taste would be really strong. I'm willing to try anything once, though!

      I don't care how much people tease me in France for loving ketchup - I love it too much to stop. I don't put it on pasta, though, but I'm not bothered by people who eat ketchup this way.

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  3. I've tried the frite sauce in McDo in France which is kind of like what you are describing but I prefer ketchup. And it gives me a thrill when my little Franco-American girl requests ketchup too.

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    1. I'll always prefer ketchup. It also gives me a thrill when my very hesitant French husband tries something North American, likes it and starts to request it. Yes, victory!

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  4. This post and the comments are funny to me with all of the mention of ketchup being such an American/North American necessity. I absolutely hate ketchup. I find it disgusting to the point where even just the smell of it makes my stomach turn (but mind you, I love tomatoes and all other tomato based products, there is just something about ketchup). I hear all the time in France that I can't be a real American if I don't eat ketchup! For me I'm generally thrilled to have choices other than ketchup for my fries. Often when I'm in the US I end up having to eat my fries plain because the only choice available is ketchup. I'm perfectly happy to eat my fries with remoulade, mayo, American or French mustard, sauce frites, really anything BUT ketchup.

    Oh and I saw your comment above and yes you can find sriracha in France. I used to only really find it in Asian grocery stores (especially in the 13th in Paris), but now I see it in the Asian section of pretty much any grande surface.

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    1. I'll definitely be buying some Sriracha sauce when I get back. But I have this sneaky suspicion that it will just be like all the other sauces, non spicy at all (at least to my standards), and certainly nothing like the one I tried in Germany and loved. Sometimes I think that they produce different versions of the same brand or type of "hot" sauce for France because they can't handle any spiciness at all.

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    2. I don't know about the Sriracha that you can buy at Auchan/Carrefour, but the ones I would buy in the Asian grocery stores in Paris were quite good and spicy. But then again, those Asian grocery stores were importing directly from Asia primarily for the Asian population living in the 13th. The Asian supermarket Tang Freres even has an online store here: http://www.asianmarket.fr/10_tang-freres

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  5. Sometimes I get the strangest cravings for ketchup (in Australia they call it tomato sauce and even though I know that, I've still had some REALLY awkward conversations where mid conversation I've forgotten. So I'll be talking about tomato sauce like pasta sauce and they think I'm talking about ketchup.)

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    1. So what do Australians call tomato sauce for pasta? Pasta sauce? How do they specify that they are using sauce made out of tomatoes as a sauce for pasta?

      I know almost nothing about "Australian" so your comments are really interesting. Thanks!

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