Koldskål - A Danish Summer Dish - and a Dish Called American Fruit Salad

Koldskål - A Danish Summer Dish - and a Dish Called American Fruit Salad

I love eating koldskål in the summer. The name literally translates to cold bowl. The ingredients vary. My favorite recipe has buttermilk, soured milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Most Danes serve it with kammerjunkere, which are small biscuits. I like to add sliced strawberries, too.

My great-grand aunt Else Marie Valborg Andersen Fisker (b. 1893 in Silkeborg, Denmark) left behind a notebook filled with recipes and one of them resembles my preferred koldskål recipe.

Recipe for soured milk dessert by Valborg Fisker

"Sourced milk dessert. 1-1½ liters of soured milk is poured over a thin cloth and left overnight. Serve it with cream and fresh strawberries. You can also stir an egg yolk with sugar, add it to the soured milk and finally add a pælg [old measurement = about a cup] of cream. It is a lovely summer dish and by the way also [a] winter dish."

American Fruit Salad

The recipe book also contains a recipe called American Fruit Salad. I have never tried it, but I think I will.

"1 egg, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange, 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, 1½ deciliter of cream - 1 grapefruit, 1 large orange, 1-2 apples, 25 grams of almonds."

I wouldn't normally call this a recipe. A lot of Valborg's recipes are simply lists of ingredients and then one has to figure out how to combine them.

I don't think this recipe was used very often, because oranges and grapefruit must have been expensive in the early 1900s in Denmark. I was actually surprised to see that many of the recipes call for bananas. Valborg grew up in the market town Silkeborg, which must be why she had access to such fruits. My grandmother Jenny told me that she had never eaten pasta before she moved from her small rural home town, Holsted, to Denmark's third largest town, Odense, in 1943, so she probably hadn't had much foreign fruit before that either.

Keep Your Ancestor's Recipe Books

In Denmark most young women wrote down recipes in note books. These note books are a great resource for family history. Keep them and try making some of the recipes unknown to you.

Did you have Danish ancestors? If they influenced your eating habits, please share how in the comments. I would also love to hear if that fruit salad is in fact used in America.