Election time! Left. Right. Left, left, right!

There are Danish local and regional elections coming up on 19 November.  (KV13 – for the media savvy.)  And how do I know this?  Because our local newspaper’s debate pages are suddenly full of letters from caring, would-be politicians who are up in arms about local issues.  And overnight every lamppost in Denmark has been adorned with pensive/smiling/serious/concerned faces! 

Now, I’m Scottish and have always been a socialist at heart.  (Yes, yes, I’ve heard the old joke before.  “If you’re not a socialist at 20 you don’t have a heart.  And if you’re still a socialist at 5o then you don’t have a brain!” )  So, in theory, I should be voting for the Danish party “Venstre“.  “Venstre” in Danish meaning “left”.  Um, no!

Venstre are actually one of the centre-right parties.  But a teeny wee bit more to the left than Konservative (the Conservatives).  But still right-wing, in the grand scheme of things.  Confused?  You will be!  😉  So perhaps I should be voting for Radikale Venstre (Radical Left)?  Um no, they’re also slightly to the right!  But a lot more left than right, if you see what I mean?  If you’re an old-school socialist, then you’ll probably want Socialdemokraterne (the Social Democrats, Labour).  That’s the party who currently has Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the helm.  Yes, that Helle.  Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law and Denmark’s first female Prime Minister.

Now, with so many different parties in Denmark, it can be rather confusing working out exactly where to put your ‘X’.  But I’ll try and give you a run down of the major players and a general idea of where they stand on the left-right divide.  Though, as is often said about politicians in Denmark: Man har et standpunkt til man tager et nyt.  One has a view/stance/belief until one takes a new one  😉

Okay, take a deep breath…

  • A – Socialdemokraterne (Social Democrats, Labour)
  • B – Radikale Venstre (centrist, Radical Left – which, despite the name, are to the right of Socialdemokraterne)
  • C – Konservative (Conservatives, Republicans)
  • F – Socialistisk Folkeparti (Socialist People’s Party, green party, more left-wing than Socialdemokraterne)
  • I – Liberal Alliance (Classical Liberal Party, centre-right)
  • O – Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party, right-wing, populist, nationalist)
  • V – Venstre (conservative-liberal, centre-right, despite their name)
  • Ø – Enhedslisten (left-wing, communist)


The elections take place on Tuesday 19 November and – selvfølgelig – I can’t predict which parties are going to come out on top.  But I can tell you that many people will be having “valgflæsk” (“election pork”) for dinner that night!  Yep, flæsk (fried belly pork) has become a real election night tradtion.   Why so?  Because “valgflæsk” is slang for all the lofty promises that policitians make during elections…  Want to cook up some flæsk for Election Night?  I walk you through how to do it right here

Have a marvelous Monday – whatever you have on your plate, whatever you stand for!

 Diane 🙂



Celebrate with stegt flæsk!

* * This post appeared earlier today on www.denmark.dk – the official website of Denmark.

The direct link is


http://blogs.denmark.dk/diane/2011/06/07/celebrate-with-stegt-fl%c3%a6sk/   * *



Get ready to wave your Danish flags…because the ‘Killer Cucumber’ saga is behind us and it’s safe to eat your greens again!   [‘Eek!’ say the nations’ kids – having had a welcome break from the ubiquitous stacks of cherry tomatoes, carrot and cucumber sticks that are part and parcel of a healthy Danish lunchbox.   All wrapped up in madpakkepapir (packed lunch paper),of course.   Not aluminium foil. Tut, tut.]

But, as usual, I digress!

Last Wednesday I posted a recipe for agurkesalat– a (killer) Danish cucumber salad.   And what better way to celebrate the return of the cucumber than to serve up agurkesalat alongside this (killer) Danish fried belly pork?  Ladies and gentlemen, mine damer og herrer, I give you…stegt flæsk!

In order not to appear greedy,

just put a couple of pieces on your

plate at a time 🙂

Stegt flæsk (literally translated as ‘fried bacon’) is a classic Danish dish that you’ll see in lots of restaurants.   Normally with the tag ad libitum – eat all you can eat – because it’s so yummy that, once started, you won’t want to stop.   And rightly so!   The first time I made it, I bought one 500 g (1lb) pack of belly pork.   Now I buy two packs – for our Scottish/Danish household of 2 adults and 2 kids – just to be on the safe side…

You can stege (fry) the strips of belly pork in a frying pan.   But you can also cook them in the oven. Which is my preferred method, as it means (slightly) less mess in the kitchen.

Dab the pieces of belly pork with a bit of kitchen roll to dry them off.  Place them on a rack, with a little space between each (so they don’t stick together when cooking) and make sure you have a drip-pan underneath.   Sprinkle generously with salt.   And I mean very generously. ‘Bad-for-my-blood-pressure’-generously.   The salt helps to draw out fat and water, making it very crispy.

Pop into a really hot oven (around 225 c or 450 f) for around 20 minutes.   Keep checking!   You want them really crisp.   Not burnt.

When the strips of belly pork are nice and crispy on one side, flip them over.   From this point you have to be really vigilant because the second side never takes as long as the first…   So watch them like a hawk!

Nice and crispy on both sides?   Then you’re ready to serve up.   We always have it with the traditional accompaniments of persillesovs (homemade parsley sauce) and boiled potatoes.   Not forgetting, of course, some of our (killer) Danish cucumber salad, agurkesalat ;)

Velbekomme!   And skål!   [she said, holding a nice chilled Carlsberg]

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! :)