This is the first dish I want to share with you. Not to set the line in the style of food I am going to present, because no matter how much I do love this dish, I must admit that it doesn’t look very appealing and it doesn’t do much good for your body, except of course from satisfying your taste buds. No, I want to share this dish with you because it provides an opportunity for me to present where I come from and at the same time give some thoughts on my new home, Chile.
The dish is Danish and this is where I come from. Denmark that is…. some people confuse us with Holland for some unknown reason. It might be the blond hair, the sound of the language or maybe the unreasonably harsh foreign policy that is being led in both countries. I hope most of you when reading this last comment doesn’t know what I’m talking about – that would mean that Denmark might still have a good reputation in some parts of the world. I’m sure I will touch upon this subject again some other time. But to get back to the point – I come from Denmark like the dish. The dish consists of boiled potatoes, fried bacon and parsley sauce (*in Danish: kartofler med stegt flæsk og persillesovs). Potatoes and pork I believe are the most popular ingredients in Danish cooking both traditionally and today. As of 1st of January 2012 there were 12,3 million pigs in Denmark. That means 2,2 pigs per person, which is actually nothing compared to what is said about the ratio between sheep and people in New Zealand. But we do eat a lot of pork and we love our bacon. Nice and greasy with an amazing smoked flavour – perfect to cure a hangover.
The plate on the picture is from our goodbye-dinner with my Danish family 6 weeks ago. It was actually my husband who requested it. He also knows how to appreciate a good piece of bacon and that is even though he is Chilean. We’ve recently moved to Chile and I’ve found that bacon is not a very well-appreciated piece of the pork here. In the supermarket you usually just find 1 or 2 different brands and they are super expensive. The explanation I’ve got from Chileans is, that it is too greasy and it is considered to be bad for your health (there might be something about that. After eating this plate I could almost feel the grease running in my veins). But the few times I’ve cooked with it here in Chile, and for example sprinkled a bit of crisp crumbled bacon on a salad, people have loved the taste. So it must be something cultural. Some common agreement that bacon is not something wanted.
Poor bacon I say… But no worries.. In Denmark I know people who says, that every dish becomes better if you add bacon. I even know people who makes little baskets of bacon to serve bacon in. Just like the one on the picture. I actually quite like the idea of serving food in food, though it doesn’t have to be all bacon. It seems simple, sustainable and fresh. Maybe I’ll experiment more with that in the future…
I want to end with the point about culturally shaped believes about certain types of food being healthy or unhealthy or gross or delicious. I find it interesting to see the amount of impact the food culture of a place or a country has on the way people, we, understand healthy living and quality of life. What should our children eat? Can I become in a better mood through changing my diet? Is food a pleasure or a necessity? And is it surrounded by social relations or is that just my cultural background bringing me to the conviction that it is so?
Find the recipe for “Boiled potatoes with bacon and parsley sauce” here.