Whether you’re growing curious about where your food comes from or you’re a food-lover trying to get the lay of your new land, here are some tips.
In the age of Google, we can supposedly access anything we want to know, but that method breaks down when you’re in a new country. Upon moving here, I searched for sources of fresh, seasonal food by Googling “Community Supported Agriculture (CSA),” the term for boxes of produce one can buy directly from farms in my home country. There were no results. After some good old-fashioned conversation with a Dane, I learned that there is a similar offering here in Denmark, but it goes by the name of grøntkasse (green box). Bingo!
Since learning the right search terms, I’ve had much better results. And the best news? There are a lot of options to be excited about! Here are a few I’ve tried:
A longtime biodynamic, organic farm run by a Danish-Thai couple (cheers to fellow expats!), they offer a massive box of produce called Torsdagskassen (Thursday’s box). You order as needed, without a subscription, and collect it from a drop-off spot in Copenhagen. You can also add items like meats and grains to your box. www.birkemosegaard.dk
With a name that means ‘ugly’ in Danish, Grim rescues produce from organic farms that cannot be sold but is still perfectly good. The veggies may have funky shapes or damaged skin, are the wrong size, or are simply being overproduced. Grim bundles them up in a box and delivers it to your door (if your door is in the Capital Region, though they are growing quickly). www.eatgrim.dk
They deliver måltidskasser (meal boxes) all across Denmark. These include all the ingredients and recipes you need for three to five whole meals. You can also purchase general produce boxes and a wide selection of other goods like juice, olive oil, cheese, fish, and tomato sauce. They source as much organic Danish food as possible and supplement the rest from trusted organic producers in Spain, Italy, and Netherlands. The farm shop in Humlebæk near Louisiana Museum on North Zealand is quite idyllic. www.aarstiderne.com
Tips for finding farm-fresh food in your area:
Danish-friendly Google terms: plug in gårdbutik (farm shop), grøntkasse (produce box), måltidskasse (meal box), or økologisk landbrug (organic farm), plus the name of your town.
Keep your eyes peeled: look for farm stands as you drive down country roads or take a walk to your local town square, where farmers will sometimes sell their goods once or twice a week.
Visit a farm on Økodag (Organic Day): In mid-April farms hold an annual celebration of spring that culminates in the release of organic (dancing) cows from the barn for the season. Farms across Denmark offer families a host of food and activities. Visit www.økodag.dk to find one near you.
Finding ways to stock your kitchen with the kind of food you feel good about can be tricky in the beginning. But once you know where and how to source them, it can make home-cooking a joy and can even help deepen your bond to your adopted home country.
This article is published in The International, a monthly free newspaper created by and for expats living in Denmark. My column features stories about Danish foods and their global histories, as well as tips for home-cooking in your expat kitchen.