New Nordic Cuisine

Having a family meal at Host was something I was very excited for. Being able to sit down with all my classmates and professor was something I had only done a handful of time before. It was beautiful to be able to see everyone well dressed, which might I say everyone looked fantastic. Even though I was only able to bring a shirt that made me seem like I worked at a basic family sit down restaurant , but hey I packed very light, i still thoroughly enjoyed my time. The atmosphere of the diner made me feel that having a button-up was needed.

As I am a vegetarian, most of my plate’s were adjusted to what my companion was eating. I was able to see what everyone was being offered, but my vegetarian dish still kept up to the new plates they were being offered. I especially like the peas soup I had; it was so creamy. I felt that it offered the best of both textures, a soft inside split pea but also presented a crunchy outer layer to offset the creaminess.
For my drink, I had a 20-year-old Cognac, and I was able to finally understand why their is a stereotype and high price point for well aged drinks. This Cognac was so smooth that when It first hit my mouth, I did not taste anything bitter or unpleasant like the plastic bottle vodka I am used to drinking. Then when I really started to taste it, I was able to get a smoky barrel taste with a hint of spice that was unknown to my palette. The best part was the price, as it was a hefty 135 Danish Krone so you could say my wallet felt that one. I considered it a well earned early graduation gift to myself.

As I know, many of fellow classmates got lunch after this meal, however I felt that it was very filling, physically and mindfully because I was able to understand New Nordic cuisine by taste and also nourishment. Also, it was nice to be able to try New Nordic cuisine for free compared to hefty price of Noma were it would have been around 6000 Danish Krone. As for the presentation of the food, it was extremely creative. It took into consideration the environment the indigence were cultivated in . Like the beets, strawberry, and snap peas were placed on top of black rocks. Giving you a sense of the soil and ground in which they can be found, also the pickled baby strawberry was savory and sweet.

The atmosphere felt like we were in some high-end caves. Getting outsource of light by candles, and some high end LED lighting that had soft wattage. You can tell they took into consideration the guest as they dimmed the light around the restaurant. Near the guest table, it had enough light to see yourself and your guest. The table we sat at was made of beautiful wood that i personally have never encountered because most of my experience is with cheap pressed wood from IKEA. The downstairs sitting area felt electrifying to me, almost like a secret underground layer with food that is too sacred to take up to the general population.

The food fulfilled everything I thought about in New Nordic Cuisine and much more. Made me question how things are prepared and served, also the amount of knowledge behind what you are eating. Having this be the last thing we did in Copenhagen was bittersweet like the pickled strawberries. In one case we all got to be able to enjoy a pleasurable evening with some of the best food Copenhagen has to offer. While on the other hand, it was the final day in such tremendous and fantastic city as Copenhagen, which I hope I’ll be able to visit once more. Thank you DIS and CSUF for the opportunity and Dr. Carrie Lane for being such a fantastic professor. We would of not been able to experience this without all your hard work. Thank you once again.

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FoodSharing Copenhagen

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Being able to study abroad has been an experience that I never would have thought I could of ever be part of. While studying abroad in Copenhagen, I was able to volunteer some of my time to a great cause, which raised awareness of food waste. Food Sharing Copenhagen takes produce from local vendors that were not able to unload, and instead of sending it to the garbage disposal, it is given to the community.

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When I first found out that I would be volunteering, I was excited and prepared. I have volunteered a lot before, so it was not like I was going to my first rodeo. I was expecting to work hard, build a bond with the establishment. Fully understand how they run their program so I could efficiently help them and be an excellent asset to the team. Many of my volunteering has to do with STEAM-related topics, so this would be a bit different. I really wanted to see how people would react to taking free food, and what kind of people would show up to receive food for free.

When I first got to the establishment, I had to take just one bus from my dormitory. I arrived at Karens Minde Culture House; it was a charming little farmhouse attached to a library that the community could use. It was something I notice back in the United States. So it started off by having a quick introduction on what the goal of FoodShairng Copenhagen was and how they help out the community. After that, we were ready to work and have everything set up by 01:00 when everyone is allowed to get free food. I was astonished by how many foreigners were there to help, I met people from France, the Czech Republic, and many more places in Europe. They have a massive following, so I was not surprised by how much the community is involved. We began by cleaning down the tables and basket where all the fruit and vegetable will be held. Then once the food vans arrived, we created an assembly line to unload all the food and start sorting through it. After everything was prepped, the volunteer had first dips on whatever they wanted to take home. Then the general public was allowed to come in, I was surprised by how many college students came in to get food.

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Something I was educated on is how resourceful the teams were. They tried there hardest to keep waste to a minimum, it could be by using the bags that the food came in as trash bags or even the cases as a food handler. Then with anything else, they broke it down and sent it to be recycled at the local recycling plant by using an electric bike to carry it. As an outsider, I was able to give my input on how to dispose of the Styrofoam. Just set it in a bag on the bike and cutting it up inside. A quick but efficient manner without getting it all over the grass. Like how the Food Movement is Rising article spoke about Food Politics being a tricky subject. When the price of food drops drastically, it can hurt farmers, but with a program like this, we can help both sides. Farmers do not have to create excess crop’s to be able to turn a profit. Whatever the market does not purchase is then donated to communities in need. Creating a sustainable process that can limit our food waste because they don’t have to worry about the price is fluctuating.

With so many free choices to fruits and vegetables, it even can lead to new creativity. As we have read in the New Nordic Cuisine, they take into consideration only foods that are in season. Taking into account what is sustainable to the environment. A program like this allows many students to be able to experiment with new vegetables/fruits that they could never afford. With this new option at their disposal, creativity is allowed to flourish. Creating a laboratory in their home to and be able to get away from fast food culture. This mindset is laking in America, like how it explained in what American can learn from other food culture. We are so tied up to using specific products, no matter what effect they might have on our environment. It should be fine to replace tomatoes on a hamburger if they are not in season. This mindset is why the United States is on the top list of food waste. We don’t want to experiment with produce that is in the season. This type of mindset in America will lead us to create more environmental problems. We all could take a couple pages from FoodSharing Copenhagen, I know once I get home ill try to implement those practice much more.

MOMO WOK BOX

Being in the top middle part of the Earth, I still have a sweet spot for Asian noddle’s and a good beer. As I walked through the city on my way to Food Sharing in Copenhagen, I was hit by an aroma that I knew way too well. Garlic, ginger, and a broth that might as well been simmering since the restaurant opened up. I turned my head and there it was, a small stall with chairs outside and bar sitting area that is used for both eating and holding napkin, spoons, and many more restaurant necessities. MOMO WOK BOX maximized the small space in which their restaurant was located. They had two woks, a rinse station, toppings bar, and a cashier’s station all in a small section.

Even though it was small, they made it function, with a factory line assembly line. Taking the order, assembling the order, shipping it out to the cook, and finally calling out to the very efficient customer. It reminded me of being back home in the City of Industry trying to secure a seat in a Korean Tofu Soup house because the soup is worth fighting. (Picture)

When we first walked in it was packed with a line out the restaurant, with all the seating being taken up. As we made our way up the line, people would get up, and we would secure our seating one by one. Then once we had to order one of us would get up and order while the other saved the seating, because people were ready to take whatever seat that opened up. It was like a madhouse to get food and find a place to sit down and eat, but people were still able to figure it out. The demographic of people inside the restaurant was from all part of the world; those noodles could attract anyone to them. I was able to order in English and pay with Apple pay so very convenient for myself. It helped that the menu was in English and Chinese

One thing that took me for a surprise about the menu is how it did not have many pork items. Back in the states in many Asian restaurants besides Indian restaurant, are almost dominated by pork dishes. And this being a Denmark, where Pork is King like our reading stated; Food For Thought, Pork Politics: Why Some Danes Want Pig Meat Required On Menus. In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes “carcasses” — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass? Well, a lot of Asian cuisines can use it in great broth and great rice dishes, such as the dish Miss Piggy at MOMO WOK BOX which uses bacon as the main protein of the rice dish.

Luckily for me, they had a vegetarian build your noodle mix, so I was able to pick the type of noodle or rice, variety of vegetable (3 for free), and a sauce. I ordered mine with Egg noodles, mushrooms, broccoli, Pak Choy, Hot Asian sauce, and a side of vegetable egg rolls. The egg rolls were nothing out of this world, but the noodles were fu@#$% great (I apologies but they deserve it). The spicy sauce was so hot, but so flavorful that the pain was worth every bite I took. It was all made in house, so you could feel the love and sweat that went into making it which I also did while consuming it.

With the egg rolls not being celebrated as much as the noodles. Though is that they are a great way to cut down on food waste, as the Video explained how they cut down on food waste in Denmark; The Danish recipe to cut food waste. Egg rolls use up all the old vegetable that may be ready to be thrown away and have them repurposed to be palatable, which helps save the planet but also making more money for the restaurant. The food was very delicious, and I will be back before I go back home. Thank you MOMO WOK BOX for the best noodles.

#2. Danish Dogs and 7 Eleven

One can really work up a appetite when you’ve crossed the Atlantic Ocean for 22 hours. At least getting off the plane I could look forward to the second happiest people in the world and Noma, the worlds best restaurant. As I made my way to pick up my bags in Copenhagen Airport, I got a strong smell of sizzling processed meat. It reminded me of back home, after a long night at a concert walking out to a cart with sizzling hot dogs. Except here it was not a small hispanic lady cooking the hot dogs in all the bacon grease in the street corner. This time it was a group of Blonde hair, blue eyed, and employees average age closer to mine. They might be young but, wow could he make a beautiful hot dog. All those memory of comfort food back home was like; What Americans can learn from other food cultures Dec 18, 2014 / Amy S. Choi. The food that feed the soul, I always saw hot dogs as something that was there after a long night, quick and dirty. Not a fancy meal but a meal to get you back home without an empty stomach.
If the small hot dog stand in the airport looked like this I could not imagine what other restaurant would be like.


Setting my standards so high might have been my downfall to anything coffee related. First cappuccino I had cost me 6.50 USD, pretty steep in my opinion but when in Denmark do as the Dane. What I received was a cup of coffee and warm milk. No foam, no double shot of espresso, and it was so weak. My coffee fix was not satisfied and I was having deep withdrawals, since back in the United States my distributor always has grade A. So I told myself maybe it’s just a hiccup this must be a mistake. So I told myself I’d give another espresso house a chance. So I did and went out to have another cappuccino. This one had some foam but the coffee beans either were too weak or just old because it tasted a bit off. After being disappointed multiple times I finally found a place that prevailed. 7 Eleven for the win.

A machine made me one of the best cappuccino I’ve had all trip long. It was super convenient also, I poured my cup of coffee, payed for it, and it was all done in one place. These convince are there for a reason, just like; McDonald’s in Hong Kong:by James L Watson. You cant be successful food chain if you don’t match the culture your doing business in. If that coffee would of taken too long I would of missed my train. With all that being said I will now only be going to 7 Eleven for any coffee need. Seems like many people feel the same because I have seen many 7 Eleven in Copenhagen. So they must be doing something correct. They are prevalent everywhere you go, every other block has one on its block.

Journal Entry #1

Sample Syllabus Template Rev 1-17-15

Steve Sagastume

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Dr. Carrie Lane

#1 Pre-Departure

Well many of my foodways have changed from years to year as I grow so do my taste and feeling towards food. During my younger years in college I would travel all thorough California finding the best places to eat and ending up all the way in Seattle for a bowl of ramen. I can honestly say that many of these are attributed to the type of cooking shows I would watch such as Anthony Bourdain series. Then as I grew older, I did the worst thing in Antony Bourdain eyes which was going from a Carnivore to an Omnivore.

My family couture

So, I grew up in cross hair between having an immigrant mother and a step father who was second generation Mexican.  My step father always said he lasted so long in the ruthless marriage they had because of my mother cooking. When my mom would cook, it would always come from deep inside the heart. She never skipped one step, if she had to wash the rice 1000 times, she would make sure to wash it 1001 times. All ways making sure she used the best ingredients because if you were going to do something you were going to do it right, if not why do it all. As I grew older, I would always be in the kitchen even though my mom hated it, since in her eyes it was providently a women place. More as hunter and gathers, women would wait for men to work farms/plantations and coffee plantation and bring home cattle or money to purchase goods. Picking up prepackage coffee that could weigh up 100 pounds, and you would have to load 2-5-ton package between teams.

As soon as I moved out, I had to learn because I was not about to be eating out. I was a big fan of using very pricey cuts of steaks. Spending up to 50 dollars on just meat alone, and one time 150 dollars on a lobster that I decided to splurge on. Let me just say I had lobster meat for the entire week, making Po Boy Sandwiches and making some of the best lobster nachos the world had seen. I used some premium blue corn nachos chips, then layered them with tomatoes and olives while sprinkling a 3-cheese blend.  3 cheese blends consisted of pepper jack, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar to be able to stand out with those 2 other cheeses. Then just layered all the left-over steak and lobster I had. Yeah, I might have had a food coma afterwards, but it was so worth it.

As I made the transition between eating meet to not having any meat, one main thing that really helped me was the challenge. When I was cooking with meat it was very easy to have a delicious meal, you get all that great fat from meat, then let that marinate. Once you have a great marinate and you begin to cook, meeting that perfect maillard reaction it was all the same. Came out delicious every time because all you had to watch was the timing, but now try doing all those meals without that delicious animal fat. Yeah not so easy anymore, but that challenge was kept me going. Then it also helped that I educated myself on how animal products are made and seeing the horrendous living condition they have to go through.

My favorite foods are curry from all around the world. Every country has their own take on how they tackle creating a perfect balance of sauce, sweet, spicy, and keeping it within the culture. Not allowing it to be abused by whatever country/culture you might be around. Not Changing it to meet whatever taste pallet the locals like, keeping it to the OG momma recipes.