Copenhagen is a city full of surprises. The weather is cold and rainy, yet it’s the capital of the happiest country in the world. The Danes seem reserved, yet Copenhagen is a progressive, international city. Denmark has one of the lowest obesity rates of any nation, yet they take their food very seriously. So in this city of surprises, tucked in among the fish mongers and rye bread sandwich stands, is the newest addition to the city’s eclectic food scene: Copenhagen Street Food. Located in a converted warehouse on Paper Island, formerly used as a storage facility for a newspaper company, this laid-back but innovative street food market embodies its goal of providing the public with new and interesting experiences in an environmentally sustainable way.
One of the gems of Copenhagen Street Food is La Fattoria, a food truck run by Cindy Romor and Johan Braad-Petersen that serves authentic Italian food while honoring Denmark’s culinary heritage. The truck’s story dates back to the Italian city of Alpago in 1993 when it was purchased and rehabbed by Cindy’s parents. They drove their truck to different small villages to provide the townspeople with fresh meat, cheese, and prepared dishes. After Cindy moved to Copenhagen, she realized that none of the Italian restaurants in the city captured the authentic flavors of Italian cuisine that she grew up with. So after Cindy’s parents retired, Cindy inherited their truck, and made the 32 hour trek from Italy to Copenhagen with Johan. To capture the true nature of Italian cuisine, La Fattoria imports all of its meat and cheese from Verona and uses only fresh, local ingredients. Since bread is a staple of Danish cuisine, Cindy and Johan contracted with a local Danish bakery to produce the organic sourdough bread that they always cut fresh.
Since it was too difficult to choose one thing, I decided to go with their signature sampler plate. The King Plate includes three types of ham, two types of cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto sauce, onion chutney, and, of course, their fresh sourdough bread. Cindy constantly changes which hams she uses based on what’s freshest, and for my plate she included prosciutto cotto, coppa, and prosciutto di Parma. It’s obvious that Cindy chooses the combinations carefully because the mild, salty flavor of the prosciutto cotto complemented the more intense flavors of the other two dry-cured hams. The cheeses were pecorino from Sardinia and Gran Reserva aged 24 months. One hard and salty, the other soft and yielding, both perfectly balanced each other as well as the meat. As advertised, the bread was fresh but unmistakably distinct from classic Italian bread. Together with the vegetables, onion chutney, and pesto sauce, it was a collection of fantastic savory Italian flavors with a Danish twist. As a digestif, Cindy gave me a shot of Melita, a sweet grappa liqueur, to cap off the meal. When I traveled to Denmark, I wasn’t expecting one of my favorite meals there to be Italian food. But that’s the thing about Copenhagen. It’s full of surprises.
– Traveling Guest Contributor, David Martin Cohen
Photos by: Martin Bager