Danish Food Vocabulary #1 Best Guide

Danish food vocabulary

What do people eat in Denmark? Is Danish food vocabulary similar to English foods? This article hopes to answer all your questions about traditional Danish food and what they call different foods in Denmark.

Danish culture has heavily influenced food choices and there may be a Danish food tradition or two that you find strange, but as the saying goes, don’t judge it until you try it!

From rye bread, to fried bacon, to something called parsley sauce, let’s begin our food journey.

Traditional Danish Cuisine

The Danes enjoy meals that are quite heavy, hearty, and meaty. Many traditional Danish dishes will have:

  • pork (peberen)
  • potatoes (svinekødet)
  • vegetables (kartoflerne)
  • salt (saltet)
  • pepper (grøntsagerne)

You’ll note that nearly all main food dishes contain some form of potato. The potato plays a major role in Danish food culture.

Famous Dishes Of Denmark

Stegt Flæsk Med Persillesovs (Crispy Pork With Parsley Sauce)

This is the national dish of Denmark. The delicious dish is served with crispy fried pork with a side of boiled potatoes. The sauce consists of pickled beetroot and parsley sauce which makes the ingredients pop off the plate.

Brændende Kærlighed (Burning Love)

Do you have mashed potatoes, diced onions, and fried bacon? That’s it, you’re all set! This dish is beloved by the Danes and is meant to be served piping hot, hot, hot. Many people will also garnish it with dill, parsley, or chopped beetroot.

Forlorn Hare (Meatloaf)

This is not your mother’s meatloaf. Referred to as forlorn hare or mock hare because there isn’t actually any hare meat in the meatloaf, rather it’s a mix of half veal and half pork. Then, get this, they wrap the meat in bacon! It’s then baked, smothered in gravy and topped with whipped cream.

Syltede Sild (Pickled Herring)

You simply can’t talk about Nordic cuisine without mentioning pickled herring. It’s served in every restaurant in every which way; smoked, breaded, fried, you name it, they’ve got it! It’s usually served with dark buttered rye bread, a garnish of red onions and dill.

Flæskesteg (Danish Roast Pork)

A traditional Danish Christmas food, Flæskesteg (roast pork), has made its way into the mainstream and can now be enjoyed all year round. It’s served with a side of sweet corn and pickled red cabbage and really, it’s more like fried pork belly than roast pork.

Other Typical Danish Food

There are dozens of delicious dishes available in Denmark. The Danes are famous for their Danish pastries and love sweet goodies. It’s quite common to see locals enjoying a Danish pastry on their break or having what many would consider to be a dessert any point during the day or night.

Here are some other foods the Danish enjoy:

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the rice puddingrisengrøden
the Danish meatballsde danske frikadeller
the breaded pork pattiesde panerede flæskebøffer
the caramelized potatoesde karamelliserede kartofler
the cold buttermilk soupden kolde kærnemælkssuppe
the beer breadøllebrødet
the dark rye breaddet mørke rugbrød

Meals Of The Day In Danish

Danish food vocabulary meals

Talking about meals is an important part of any culture. Here’s how to say the common meals of the day in Danish.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the breakfastmorgenmaden
the brunchbrunchen
the lunchfrokosten
the dinneraftensmaden
the dessertdesserten
the snacksnacken

The Food Pyramid – Danish Food Vocabulary

Now let’s go through the typical staple food groups and have a look at the most common types of fruits, vegetables, meat, desserts, and drinks in Danish.


Fruits in Danish

Fruits cannot be easily grown in Denmark so most fruits are imported from abroad elsewhere in Europe or overseas. You can still get the usual fruits you’re used to at local supermarkets. Here’s what fruits are called in Danish.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the fruitfrugten
the appleæblet
the bananabananen
the cherrykirsebæret
the coconutkokosnødden
the grapedruen
the limelimen
the mangomangoen
the orangeappelsinen
the papayapapayaen
the pineappleananassen
the strawberryjordbæret
the watermelonvandmelonen


Danish food vocabulary vegetables

Vegetables are one of the core elements of Danish cuisine. Most Danish dishes have sides of vegetables. Now we know that not all of these are vegetables; some are tubers, herbs, fungi, etc so please accept these all lumped together under the category of vegetables in Danish.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the vegetablegrøntsagen
the asparagusaspargesene
the broccolibroccolien
the cabbagekålen
the carrotguleroden
the cauliflowerblomkålen
the cornmajsen
the cucumberagurken
the eggplantauberginen
the garlichvidløget
the lettucesalaten
the mushroomsvampen
the onionløget
the potatokartoflen
the pumpkingræskarret
the spinachspinaten
the sweet potatoden søde kartoffel
the tomatotomaten


Meat in Danish

One of the main ingredients of Danish cuisine is meat. It is usually the star of the plate and is cooked in various forms. Pork is probably the most popular meat ingredient.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the meatkødet
the baconbaconen
the beefoksekødet
the chickenKyllingen
the duckanden
the hamskinken
the meatballfrikadellen
the muttonfårekødet
the porksvinekødet
the sausagepølsen
the turkeykalkunen


Being next to the sea the Danes love their seafood, especially fish. Most of the seafood available in Denmark comes fresh from the sea or is imported.

Seafood in Danish
EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the seafoodskaldyrene
the crabkrabben
the fishfisken
the lobsterhummeren
the oysterøstersen
the salmonlaksen
the shrimp/prawnrejen/rejen
the squidblæksprutten
the tunatunen


Danish food vocabulary drinks

In Denmark, cold and iced drinks are not very popular as the weather is typically a bit cool and overcast. You can still expect name brand drinks and usual things such as coffee and tea.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
the drinkdrikken
the beerøllen
the coffeekaffen
the fruit juicefrugtsaften
the iced teaden iste
the liquor/spiritsspiritus/spiritus
the milkmælken
the poppoppen
the red winerødvinen
the smoothiesmoothien
the sodasodavandet
the teateen
the watervandet
the white winehvidvinen
the winevinen

Danish Cooking Terms

Cooking terms in Danish

In this vocabulary list, we gathered the most frequently used Danish cooking terms in the kitchen. These words could be easier to memorize if you think about them or say them aloud while cooking in the kitchen.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
deep friedfriturestegt

Useful Dining Phrases In Danish

These casual words and phrases can help you when you go dining out in Denmark or when you’re invited over for the dinner. You could also use the words above to ask about your meal.

EnglishDanish TranslationPronunciation
a littleen lille
a loten masse
cooklaver mad
I’m fullJeg er mæt
I’m hungryJeg er sulten
pleaseVær venlig
thank youtak skal du have

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