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Food & Drink

Samla vilda råvaror som en mästerkock i Danmark

Ramslök och kirskål, blåstång och blåmusslor. Varje säsong bjuder på sina råvaror och du kan hitta vilda örter och sund supermat i skogen, på stranden eller i köksträdgården – lätt som en plätt. Här är en guide till naturens eget skafferi som du kan förse dig från över hela Danmark.

Claus Meyer och René Redzepis nya nordiska kök har inspirerat många att ge sig ut i naturen och samla örter och andra råvaror. Och både örter och ogräs bjuder på överraskande kulinariska upplevelser. Som bäst är de på våren när bladen inte har hunnit bli sega och beska av sommarens många soltimmar, och en liten sax och ett par små påsar är allt du behöver för att gå i mästerkockarnas fotspår och ge måltiden en vild touch. Om du är osäker på tillagningen kan du hitta gott om tips och inspiration på  vildmad.dk och smagpaaaarhus.dk.

Det här är några av Danmarks vilda råvaror:

Wild garlic. Photo: Michael Clarke/wikimedia commons

Wild garlic

You’ll find wild garlic, or ramsons, in many woods and parks such as in Aarhus and everywhere on Bornholm. Wild garlic has a strong scent and tastes somewhere between garlic and leek, and is used in modern Nordic cuisine to make pesto, herby oils, mayonnaise and stir fry, for example.

Ground elderl. Photo: Shutterstock

Ground elder

This gardener’s headache is found everywhere in woods, gardens and fields, and is actually a fine herb to use if you pick the tender top shoots before the plant fully opens. It has a fresh, slightly nutty taste, and you can use fresh ground elder in place of parsley. The flowers also make a delightful decoration.

Mussels. Foto: Shutterstock

Mussels

Mussels are easy to find by the sea on breakwaters, groins and rocks in early spring. The safest time to pick them is before 15 April. Clean and sort the mussels and then steam them in some butter, white wine and wild garlic for about five minutes till they open. Serve with bread and French fries.

Nettle shoots. Photo: Shutterstock

Nettle shoots

Harvesting nettle shoots calls for thick gardening gloves and scissors, but it’s well worth the effort. When the shoots are fried, blanched or stewed, they develop a deep, spicy umami flavor, that goes well with fish, pies, forcemeat and in soups.

Seaweed. Photo: Shutterstock

Seaweed

It has loads of umami and salt, and its high mineral and vitamin content makes seaweed a superfood. March and April are peak season for bladder wrack and fucus spiralis, that grow on rocks close to the shore. All you have to do is wade out and harvest it. Always pick the cleanest seaweed without any barnacles, and remove the outer shoots with scissors. Fresh seaweed can be sliced thinly and eaten raw, or dried into chips in the oven. IMPORTANT: only eat fresh seaweed and never seaweed that has washed up onto the beach.

Sea sandwort. Photo: Shutterstock

Sea sandwort

This small herb is also known as beach cucumber as it smells and tastes of salted cucumber. It grows on sandy beaches in Bornholm, North Funen, Aarhus and other places and can be harvested from April to August. The herb goes well with fish and shellfish, burgers and hotdogs. You can also try to sauté it lightly in butter and tossed in pasta with shellfish.

Marsh Samphire. Photo: Shutterstock

Marsh Samphire

This crunchy, salty herb looks a bit like green heather and is also called beach asparagus. It’s mostly found on salt marshes and wetlands, and tastes best from April to July. Samphire is popular as a raw accompaniment to fish, shellfish and salads in many restaurants. Cut 2/3 of the plant when you harvest it.

Dandelions. Photo: Shutterstock

Dandelions

Dandelions pretty much grown everywhere. The leaves are harvested in April and May, before they become too large and dark green. The bitter, nutty taste is a bit like rocket, and it goes well with smoked and rich foods such as hot smoked salmon, blue cheese and nuts. Some of the bitterness disappears when sautéing and blanching with a drop of vinegar. The leaves can be used in a similar way to spinach.

Red deadnettle. Photo: wikimedia commons

Red deadnettle

Red deadnettle is almost as common as dandelions and is happy in most soils. It’s a crunchy herb with a slight taste of radishes and root vegetables and is best harvested from April to October. The herb and its little flowers look lovely and can be used like radishes in salads. When prepared, it develops a umami flavor, and tastes especially good with the addition of some fat.

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