November 18, 2018

Food for Thought

This morning, my wife and I checked out Danish Seamen’s Church Christmas Fair in Brooklyn Heights. I didn’t know that the word “danish,” as in pastries, literally refers to Denmark. I had assumed that they just happen to share the same word. After all, why should pastries with fruits on top originate from Denmark? So, I looked up the origin of Danish pastry on Wikipedia. The people in Denmark do not call it “danish” (that would be weird); they call it “wienerbrød” meaning “Viennese bread.” In other words, Americans credit Danes for it, but Danes credit Viennese.

Apparently, in 1850, bakers in Denmark went on strike, and the bakery owners hired Austrian bakers. That’s when the Viennese baking methods were introduced to Denmark. But it was Danish immigrants who introduced the same methods to the US; that’s why it’s called “danish” here.

At the fair today, they had a pizza-size almond danish or Viennese bread. I had never seen it before. I loved it. Later on, we went to Trader Joe near us and, to my surprise, found the same thing, although it wasn’t as big as the one we saw at the fair. As you would expect, it wasn’t as good as the one at the fair, but it’s still pretty good. It’s a strange phenomenon; when you learn about something, you suddenly start seeing it everywhere.

#danish #pastry #wienerbrød #almonddanish #christmasfair #brooklynheights #brooklyneats #nycfoodie #nycfood