If you have been following our Facebook and Instagram feeds, or if you live pretty much anywhere North of Berlin you already know of the cornucopia of foodie experiences that is the island of Bornholm.
A little history first (stop that groaning you in the back, I’ll make it brief).
South East of both Denmark and Sweden, right at the mouth of the Baltic Sea lies the tiny island of Bornholm. The origin of the name is a bit obscure, but may refer to the granit cliffs. These are the most pervasive geological feature of the island. Over the years the island has changed nationality quite a few times and the local accent, food traditions and culture have a different flavour than either Denmark or Sweden.
In more modern times the island (now Danish) has managed not only to hang on to the traditional way of life and the local foodie traditions better than anywhere else, but it has a more congenial climate than the rest of Scandinavia and the growing conditions for both plants and animals are optimal. As such it has become a place of pilgrimage in summer for those who long for good, fresh foods, and a promised land for those who dream of starting their own food production.
I could never mention all of the amazing food productions, or the restaurants, bars, cafés and shops to be found on this tiny island. I will therefore confine myself to only a select few of the producers.
By far the most famous child of Bornholm also no longer lives there, but it is worth mentioning the liquorice king. He has unquestionably helped put Bornholm on the international map. His delicious vegan liquorice, not to mention his chocolate covered liquorice treats are some of the most popular and delicious candies sold anywhere.
Sea Buckthorn are a small orange berry grown in coastal climates. Full of a tart sweetness, and of course vitamin C. Mads and Camilla moved to Bornholm from Copenhagen to found their little farm near Nexø where they grow the delicious berry and make jams, sirups, juice etc. In fact, quite a few of the major Michelin star restaurants in Scandinavia use their berries.
Dam’s Rye cracker
6 generations of the family Dam have been making this famous cracker, which is now sold all over the world. The recipe is secret, except for the rye of course, but each cracker is made in 27 layers. Visiting the old bakery is a special treat.
There is more than one mustard producer, but the “original Bornholmer sennep” is still made to a secret recipe known only to a few. It has a hint of sweetness though that comes from the use of beer in the base recipe, and this sweetness makes it an ideal condiment to bring up a sauce or a salad.
I know that’s not how you spell it in English, but it is nevertheless correct. Several producers in Bornholm have started making the drink, but the newest and most award winning is Nord Snaps by Rie Uldahl. Particularly worth mentioning is her caramelised apple and oak tree. Other notable snaps producers are Den Bornholmske Spritfabrik which has been around in one form or another for a few hundred years, and Gran Snaps made with Christmas tree from their own plantation.
As though one was not enough Bornholm boasts 2 caramel producers of superb quality. At Karamelkompagniet you can even enjoy seeing the production while you eat the delicious treats which do not stick in your teeth.
These are just a few of the things which one ought to experience in Bornholm. Should you choose to visit the beaches are wonderful, the smoked herring is a classic and every summer Denmarks most prestigious cooking competition Sol over Gudhjem sets the foodie trends for the new year.
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