My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar – 19 December

Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent
! Join me every day in opening a new door. I’ve got
a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes,
traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back,
relax and enjoy!


Okay, so you’ve bought all your Christmas presents? Wrapped and ready to put
underneath the tree? And what about the marcipan pig. Did you remember

Shop-bought marcipan pigs

If you’re hosting Danish Christmas dinner on the evening of 24 December and
are serving the obligatory ris a l’amande for dessert, then you’re
going to need the obligatory marcipan pig for the obligatory Mandelgave
or ‘almond present’.

Ris a l’amande, despite the French name, is a very Danish
dessert. It’s a heavy, cold rice pudding, ‘lightened’ (ha!) with whipped cream
and specked with chopped, blanched almonds. And served with a jug of hot cherry
sauce. Yum!

According to tradition (which dates back a century or two) a whole blanched
almond is ‘hidden’ in the dessert. The dessert is served to the whole table and
whoever finds the whole almond in their portion is ‘the Winner’. The
mandelgave (almond present) is usually a small, marcipan pig
(marcipangris) but can also be a small bottle of snaps, a book, a game,
you name it. And if you have small kids, I’d suggest sneaking a whole almond
into each and every little child’s bowl if you want to ensure ‘peace on earth’
on Christmas Eve… ;)

In my DDH’s (Dear Danish Husband’s) family, they go a step further and try to
hide the fact that they have found the whole almond until the very end
of the meal. By hiding it in their mouth, in a pocket, under the tablecloth
etc. Just to keep everyone guessing.

Sometimes we make the pigs ourselves out of marcipan. Just google
“marcipangris” for images, and you’ll find plenty of inspiration. Otherwise you
can take the easy way out – and get your little piggies from the

Two little marcipan piggies…

Øf, øf! Oink, oink!

Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)