Danish Milk. Grey or blue?

Do you drink milk?  We drink lots of it in our house.  And – what’s more – we’re living dangerously without a safety net and still choosing to drink (and enjoy) cow’s milk! [Gasps from the audience…]

My fridge

Now, I’ve mentioned before the hazards of not being able to decipher Danish food packaging : remember these little pots of pasteuriserede æggehvider – pasteurized egg whites?  The mother of a French friend of mine mistook them for Danone mini yoghurts. And put one in the grandchild’s packed lunchbox.  Ha! 😉

Been there, done that!  Well, not exactly the egg-whitey thing.  But do I remember leaving Scotland at the tender age of 21 to go and work in the small (but perfectly formed Duchy of) Luxembourg and being totally baffled by the dairy section at my local supermarché.  I knew to look for “lait” but had no idea if I was buying semi-skimmed, full-fat or long-life. Repeat the scenario holidaying in Spain, Greece, Italy, etc, etc, etc.

Things are a lot easier here in Denmark because those crazy but lovable Danes have a clever milk coding system.  The colour on milk cartons is standardized.  Thus, if you know what kind of milk you like, you can easily find it.  But you need to know the Danish name for it selvfølgelig!  So in order to make your trip to the supermarked a little less hazardous, here’s my run down on the various types of milk you’re likely to encounter in Denmark:

  • full-fat – sødmælk – dark blue carton
  • semi-skimmed – letmælk – pale blue carton
  • 0.5% fat “mini” milk – minimælk – light grey/blue carton
  • skimmed – skummetmælk – grey carton


But – hov – what about all those other dairy products lurking in the cooler section, just waiting to confuse you?

  • whipping cream – piskefløde – red carton 
  • non-whipping cream for coffee – kaffefløde – orange carton
  • buttermilk – kærnemælk – green carton  Unless – selvfølgelig – it has a picture of an apple on it.  Then it’s æblemost – applejuice… 😉


And the countless other types of yoghurts/soured milk products will just have to wait until another blogpost!

My friend V's fridge

My kids love skummetmælk and my favourite is sødmælk.  What’s your favourite tipple?

Happy drinking.  Oh, and “mooooooooooo”!

Diane 🙂