Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Birthplace of Fairy Tales

Odense is a quaint, small city in Denmark. Home of Hans Christian Anderson, its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, lush fields and meandering river were the setting of many of his fairy tales. The town still gives scope to the imagination.

Couldn't you picture a young couple from the past sneaking into this church on a Saturday at noon during the weekly organ concert?

The swelling chords coming from the silver pipes would muffle their clandestine conversation. 

Bright windows and white walls would fail to cheer the young lovers who would soon part.  An observer would understand the sorrow, when they watched the young sailor point to the ship model and the heroine cross her heart promising to pray for his safe return. 

Today, this 1000 year old city is as colorful and quaint as in by-gone days. 

Fairy tales are performed in the summer months on a grassy knoll in front of Anderson's birthplace.  An actor playing the author introduces his make-believe characters to the audience who have made the pilgrimage in his honor.
Today, as in yesteryear, citizens of Odense bike along the lovely stream which meanders along one side of the town. Visitors, as well, can rent bikes and follow the trail to the zoo and The Funen Village, where half-timbered houses from all over Denmark have been reconstructed. 

Windmills and farm buildings from the 1800s also have been carefully taken down and reconstructed in this outdoor village to preserve life as it would have been lived in Anderson's Denmark.

Just around the corner from The Funen Village visitors can stop for a feast at a five star restaurant, Sortebro Kro.

Patrons can eat inside in quaint dining rooms

or enjoy the summer breeze on the patio.

On our visit, Bill and I chose the alfresco dining. White linen tablecloths and live miniature violets in hand-thrown, white pottery vases hinted at the five-star service and food to follow.

Our young waitress was in a three-year technical training program to become a server extraordinaire. She waited on us attentively without being overly solicitous. Before the meal, we were each served two complimentary preliminary appetizers (amuse-bouches) hinting at the culinary extravaganza to follow. 

The first course was a combination of tiny potatoes, cherry tomatoes, leaks, carrots, shrimp, and eggs topped with a delicate, edible wild flower. In the citron sauce the flavors exploded. 

Afterward a young baker brought out an assortment of freshly baked breads, some hearty, some light and crispy--all delicious.

My second course was scallops and gooseberries in a melted herb butter. The presentation was pure whimsey.

The third course was a turbot in lettuce spring roll with french peas and mushrooms in clarified butter. 

Then to cleanse the palate before the main course, we were served a buttermilk cucumber sorbet.

As an entree, I enjoyed duckling while Bill had turbot.

My dessert was buttermilk sorbet with wild strawberries and lemon cookie crumbs.

Some of Bill's dessert strawberries were sliced; others were quartered, but all were smothered in a cream-strawberry puree and topped with raspberry sorbet and crushed lemon cookies. Never have strawberries been so sweet and flavorful.

Finally, as we left, our waitress handed us a miniature basket with four hand-dipped chocolates. Unforgettable!

If you are going to Denmark, put Odense on your itinerary and don't miss Sortebro Kro. The world-class cuisine and the city's charm are sure to capture your imagination.


  1. Sounds absolutely delightful! What a delicious meal!

  2. Thank you! I officially hate the lunch I just had, haha. Definitely going to Sortebro Kro in October. (Yup, we're heading there again.) The food looks and sounds divine!!! YUM!