My Fancy pants

When I heard that our class was going to be receiving a free dinner from our DIS program, I was excited. I did not know we were going to be attending a fancy restaurant like Høst. My first thoughts when arriving to this magnificent place was that it had a cool scenery and the employees had a uniform that made them look like a they were part chefs. The place had a sense of classy and fancy. The location of our reservations was underground and since we were 12 guests, they gave us the employee table. As I was getting my seat I observed that the dining table had bread, butter, water, sparkling water, and napkins that were pretty thick. Within a couple of meets we received our first meal of the 3-course meal. I did not know what to expect because it was my first time ever in a fancy restaurant.

When the first meal arrived, it was a type of salad with salmon and different veggies, but the strange thing was that the server put a type of horse relish type of sauce. In the new Nordic cuisine, it states, “cold-water fish have taken the gourmet restaurants of France by storm. in just a few short years, Le skrei – the spawning cod of early winter – have taken on a special status. these fish migrate from the Barents sea to the norwegian coast, and are flown to Paris within 24 hours of being caught. this is a special product and the large, easily flaked fillet is an indicator of freshness.” This made since that our first meal had a type of sea food within. For the second meal we had a taco shape meal but turns out it was pancake formed of a taco with seafood inside as well. The third meal we got was a round shape fish with asparagus on the side. After that we got a creative dessert. The best part of this was that we received two different desserts. The first one was a type of frosty with a pinecone in the middle. Finally, the last meal we got was a fancy ice cream with a sugar flower shaped thing on top to decorate it.

The overall, atmosphere was purity, countryside, simplicity and classic. For example, our server would share each dish at a time really describing the dish piece by piece while connecting it to the Danish culture. I felt like I got a vibe of peaceful and happy. People were dressed both fancy and casual which in my opinion is rare because a fancy restaurant usually has people with dress clothes and dresses. I was in shocked when having all the food because I am used to either Mexican food or fast food in the United States. I have never eaten food that comes in a sense of art or masterpiece. While in enjoying the art food I told myself that I am really missing out on foods out of my comfort. Jonatan Leer states, “From a Bourdieusian perspective, this new generation may be seen as a ‘‘natural’’ reaction to the New Nordic Cuisine, because just as the New Nordic chefs needed to challenge French and Mediterranean cuisine to establish their own distinctive positions in the culinary field, Puglisi depended on a refusal of the New Nordic Cuisine to claim originality.” This means that the new Nordic culture is hard to please people. Overall, for trying something new in my life I can say it was an amazing experience. I thank DIS for a nice dinner I got to enjoy with my classmates. This experience changed me by being more patient with food. First thing when arriving to the states is that I am going to play around in the Kitchen to see if I can pull off a New Nordic dish.

Get up and Volunteer

When I was told we were going to be volunteering in Food Sharing my expectations were that we were going to be in a poor area, and we were going to be handing food out to poor people. I was also expecting to be told what to do or have some structure with the volunteering. I was expecting a lot of Danish people to be helping out with the Food Sharing, but instead, it was various different ethnicities helping. I was extremely shocked about the Food Sharing is a beautiful neighborhood. The first day of volunteering, we went to a room that was located on the second floor. It was small but very well established. I was shocked by the fact that everyone did their own thing and helped out we were not divided into groups we just basically arrived and joined the help. I was surprised at the fact that the people helping were not Danish but, Mexican, Peruvian, American, German, and more. The people that went to get the food was primarily Students or interns that have come mainly from Argentina. This was not what I expected, but it was still lovely.

 My Thought of the Organization is that they are very kind for giving back to the community. Who wouldn’t want to give back to the world, it is always nice to do so? I love that there are people that still volunteer every week with the organization. The one thing I can say is that they need to be able to communicate, their program is all over the place. They need to build a structure on how to get things done and passed out so that everything can go as planned. I was shocked when a person helping said that he was on his break? Usually, when I volunteer in the United States, I do not take a break unless I’m done with my work. 

The most challenging thing to do was getting the food inside the location where we were distributing the food. Also checking the food was a bit hard because I thought that the food was going to be ready just to be handed out to the public. Instead, we had to separate the good from the bad and place them in bins. The Satisfying thing about this was having a sense of happiness because we were giving back to the community. The only disappointing thing I saw was that the volunteers got lazy and did not want to help clean up. They rather sat around and chat with others that were not helping either. I found that rude because we were inside sweating and working while people were outside laughing in the fresh air. The great thing about Food Sharing was that I learned the value of food waste and how my country waste a lot of food, while they should just be giving it for free.

At first, I felt like I was an outsider because of the language barriers not being the same. Also, the way that I was confused with everything when arriving there. I was confused that there was no structure. The difference from being an outsider to the insider was that an outsider is going to be looked upon as a new person that has no experience. Another trait of being an outsider is being very shy and quiet. The insiders on the other hand, are very talkative are always smiling and are greeting everyone with a smile and hugs. My experience with outsiders and insiders is after an hour of being there I felt like an insider because I was getting along with everyone. I was speaking Spanish to the people coming in to get the food, so basically, I felt like I was a regular volunteer. My views on foods did change a lot in the matter that I waste so much food back home. I always buy too much food and let it sit in the refrigerator. So, a valuable lesson from this experience is to not waste food. When I go home if I have left overs I am going to invite my friends that are very low with an income to eat the foods with me.  

There are two readings that connect with my experience for example, Amy Choi states, “The introduction of global foods and brands has compounded food as a status symbol for middle-class Chinese. “Food as status has always been a huge thing in China,” says Mo. “Being able to afford to eat seafood or abalone or shark’s-fin or bird’s-nest soup, or being able to show respect to a VIP by serving them the finest yellow rice wine, is part of our history. Now it’s been modernized by having different Western foods represent status. It could be a Starbucks coffee, or Godiva chocolates, or a Voss water bottle. It’s a way of showing your sophistication and worldliness.”” This means that there is a type of status when eating food. So, my opinion is that if you go to food sharing, you are not part of the general public. In other words, only poverty are the ones that go to food sharing.

Another example that relates is when Carol Schroeder states, “Several major changes in Danish diet appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries. Considering that today potatoes are a staple in traditional Danish cuisine, it is surprising to discover that they were not grown in Denmark until the early 1700s. Potatoes were introduced to Danish farmers at that time by the French Huguenots, who had imported the potato from South America in the 16th century.” Yes, potatoes are very popular even at the Food Sharing. One of the days I managed the potatoes and let me tell you, it was bins and bins full of them. Everyone seems to take a lot of potatoes during the event.

Overall, the one thing I can take from my experience is that I can teach my friends and family the value of food waste. The reason for this is because we tend to buy way too much food, and it usually goes wrong. If I educate them, they will be saving money and helping the environment and community.

Once upon a time in Denmark

I decided to explore a Mexican restaurant in Copenhagen since I work in a similar atmosphere and vibe in the United States. For starters, restaurants are my life, growing up in a Mexican household, has brought the best spices and foods to our time. I was introduced to the restaurant industry at a very young age. My father owned a restaurant called Mazatlán café. Our family-owned the place from 1998 – 2003 until my dad went bankrupt. Even though this was a harsh moment in our life, we still managed to work in a restaurant. As of today, I work as a manager for a sports grill called Angelos. With that said, I wanted to find a place that was quite similar to Angelos, and La Neta was quite the same.

Although the food in the United States is more affordable in comparison to Copenhagen, I was on a mission to find something useful. I was not looking for cheap food because that can always lead to a problem. Just like in Michael Pollan articles he states the following about food: “But although cheap food is good politics, it turns out there are significant costs—to the environment, to public health, to the public purse, even to the culture—and as these became impossible to ignore in recent years, food has come back into view.” I already knew La Neta was not going to have problems with foods because they were 4.5 stars in a review.

La Neta is a Mexican Restaurant. As I walked into the restaurant, I saw nothing but light, bright colors. The four colors they used a lot were white, pink, green, and yellow. There were tables on my right side as I walked through the door. The cashier was immediately to my left-hand side, and the menu was dangling from the roof. The entire kitchen was visible, so you knew what they were cooking right in front of your face. Walking through the inside of the restaurant, you see more tables on the left side; they were high chairs with circular tables. On the right of that, there was a bar with many different skeletons and Mexican plush dolls. Down the hallway, you will come across another section of tables that are coke cola brand square tables with sewed on chairs along with the tables. The theme the entire restaurant is based on is the Mexican card game called Loteria. It is a type of bingo game. The beepers, painting, and quotes on the walls were all theme to the game.

The menu was straightforward they had tacos, quesadillas, tacos grande, and of course, agua frescas. The meat options were pastor, barbacoa, veggies, bistec, and carnitas. One last thing that I am forgetting, and it is known to be famous meat for the Danes, which is Chorizo (pork). According to Sidsel Overgaard, he states the following about Danes favorite food, “In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.” Pork is very popular in the country, especially in sausage form. The menu from La Neta is a bit smaller than the menu where I work at back home our menu has a wide variety of selection of different foods to pick from. For my meal, I decided to try all the meats except for the bistec. I had three tacos and one quesadilla that was made with chorizo. The food came with only the meat, so that meant you had to put your veggies in your tacos. The salad bar was correctly set up left to right. It contained the traditional onion and cilantro, along with a mild, medium and hot salsa to go with it.

The way food is served, and handle is similar to the restaurants back in the United States. The cashier will take your order on a piece of paper, put it on the cook’s dashboard and then charge you. The only difference was that the cashier gave me a beeper instead of a paper with a number on it. Surprisingly the workers there were not Mexicans at all they were Danish instead. I even asked if the owner was Mexican, but they said the same thing, they said that the owner was Danish as well. Inside a Mexican restaurant, there is usually music playing super loud but in this one there was no music what so ever. I felt like La Neta was a place to go an enjoy food while drinking a beer but to socialize with the people you went with.

My overall, experience with this restaurant was excellent; the food was lovely because it is hard to cook carnitas and pastor, but the meat there was not dry but nice and juicy. The remarkable thing about La Neta is I felt like I was in a taco stand in Mexico because of all the decoration that was in the place. If I rated this place, I would give it a 4 out of 5, which is surprisingly good because I am a picky eater.

første måltid

Healthy Healthy Healthy, that was my first impression of Danish cuisine after my arrival in Copenhagen, Denmark. For the first meal, I had a Kanel Snegle aka a Cinnamon roll. In the United States, I usually go to a Cinnabon place to have the tasty pastry of a warm, soft, smooth cinnamon roll. The difference between the United States in comparison to Denmark is that they are sweeter. They are different here because they are less sweet, meaning it has less frosty than usually, so that makes it way easier to consume, and it is a big factor why it is a bit healthier. The best thing about it is that it is found in 7 eleven and they sell them 2 for 20 kroner, which is about 3 dollars. In my opinion, since I am a business major, that is one heck of a bargain to me. In the United States, the cinnamon roll is around 5 dollars for just one.

For my second experience, I want to try a Danish burger at a place called The Hungry Dane. For starters, they are not a fast food place. That means they will wait until you order and the same person taking the order it the one that prepares and cooks it as well. Never in my life would I have thought of eating French fries that were not fried in a fryer. The outcome of the fries was a bit different than the typical oily and greasy fries from the United States. They were so plain but crunchy in texture. I had some sort of knowledge and already knew of my head that there is no such thing as ranch dressing. So, instead of eating my fries with ranch they gave me mayonnaises. Even though ranch dressing base ingredient is mayonnaise. I was weird out with the fact that eating fries with mayonnaise was a regular thing.

The burgers, on the other hand, were not made like the typical burgers that are thousand island sauce, onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes. The burger I had here was shredded beef with carrots and cabbage as the substitute for the vegetable part. According to Schroeder, book “The Cuisine of Denmark,” she quotes the following: “Dutch agriculture was more advanced than that of Denmark at the time, and these farmers were responsible for the growing-and lasting-popularity of cabbage in the Danish diet, and for the introduction of the carrot to Danish agriculture” (pg. 8). I was not a big fan of the burger because of the vegetables that were in it. I usually put cabbage in my fish tacos and carrots on my chicken bowls. So the burger did not live up to its slogan “best burger in town.”

According to Amy S. Choi, she states, “So if what we eat is what we are, what are Americans? Well, meat. “If Americans have any unifying food identity, I would say we are a (mostly white) meat culture,” says Barber. “The protein-centric dinner plate, whether you’re talking about a boneless chicken breast, or a 16-ounce steak, as an everyday expectation is something that America really created, and now exports to the rest of the world.” This relates to me a lot; I love a lot of meat in general, especially burger meat. For my last experience, I decided to eat so American food. I went to McDonald’s to try food that is not made in the United States. For example, there McChicken is completely different here. The chicken is not your ordinary patty, but instead, they give you a patty that has more of a chicken breast. Another meal I have was a McBacon. Let me tell you that burger was the same thing is a McDouble, but the only difference is that they added Bacon. Overall, the Mcdonalds experience was quite different from the United States.

My Cravings

My foodways are eating anything that my mom makes, or if she did not cook, I most likely would grab any fast-food preferable hamburgers. Growing up as a child, the main dish my family culture has presenting me with is beans, cheese, and tortillas all the time. I am the type of eater that likes to ask for seconds since I know that there are always leftovers. The main dishes I love in my households are enchiladas and handmade quesadillas. Although, I am a Mexican and we are known to be good at eating spicy foods. I avoid all foods with spice and all the foods that contain onion because I hate onion. Other than hating spices and onions, I do love trying new foods all the time. My sister says that I like the weirdest of foods. I love to eat my meals 60% of the time at restaurants, and the other 40% are back home. I tend to eat with friends or my sister. As for the time I eat from 11 am – 11 pm being the last meal. I have a sweet tooth, so I crave food all the time. Even though I am Mexican, I crave burgers all the time. This has to do with me working at a restaurant and seeing the cooks make burger right in front of my face, makes me crave them more. Overall, I would say that I do not eat like an American, because I am mostly out eating in restaurants. My opinion about eating like an American is having a huge family dinner with everyone in your family and sharing stories or talking about how someone’s day has been.