Photo by Kat Kinsman

Plus it's in Copenhagen, sorry

Kat Kinsman
September 05, 2018

I hate to be one of those people who comes back from Copenhagen all, "I must move there immediately and purchase a bike and learn to ferment things." And "Y'know, Socialism seems like a not terrible way to run a country," googling "Denmark work visas," and considering getting cheekbone implants, but here we are. It happened and I'm dealing with it, and I'm trying to figure out how to get back there as soon as humanly possible so I can jam another beef-glazed pastry into my greedy American maw.

I hadn't meant for this to happen, and honestly it shouldn't have. I've got a cruddy gut condition called SIBO, and it means that some foods, including grains, legumes, corn, and a lot of dairy, ferment very quickly in my stomach. The effects are fairly unpleasant. But I've made a deal with myself—and my nutritionist—that if I'm traveling and the choice is down to missing out on a significant culinary experience or having it and paying the price later, I'll take the hit and privately suffer the consequences in my hotel room later. Most of the time it's worth it. So while I was running around the city scarfing sourdough bread and gose-style beer like a woman possessed, I met a forager who told me that The Corner at 108 was featuring a breakfast pastry that incorporated cepes she'd brought them.

Well dang! A mushroom pastry. It would be downright irresponsible of me as a professional breakfast journalist not to try this, so I trudged over the Inderhavnsbroen bridge the next day to find out for myself. And wouldn’t you know, they were out. The barista offered me a beef-glazed pastry as an alternative. I wavered just for a moment, having been saddened by suet on multiple occasions in my life, and snapped out of it just as quickly. I'd eaten dinner at their sister restaurant 108 the night before and was still reeling from the raw lamb in perilla leaves, crisped beech mushrooms dipped in smoked egg yolk sauce, and seaweed ice cream-filled aebleskiver with caviar on top like a merry-go-round of all my favorite flavors in the world. It would be foolish and slightly rude to my own tongue not to try it.

Tak for kaffe, it was glorious. A laminated pastry as simultaneously butter-laden and light and light on the inside as can be crafted by human fingers, guarded by a mahogany-shiny crust formed by patient strokes of a deeply savory glaze that must have been concentrated at the bottom of God's own Sunday roast pan. In the words of my friend Eddie, it tasted "like a Bovril croissant."

I got angry for a second, like I do sometimes when I've gone my entirely life deprived of a foodstuff that has suddenly become essential to my being. I quickly rallied so I could be fully physically and emotionally present for the rest of it. I'm not exaggerating. This is not just the best meat-based pastry I have ever consumed; it is the best pastry I have ever consumed. I doubt it was a contributing factor to my rather intense nausea much further into the evening (I'd chalk that up to the legumes, corn, dairy, and other no-fly foods I consumed at a glorious dinner), but I would have happily despoiled hotel bathrooms from the Faroe Islands to Helsingør if it meant getting to consume that flaky, beefy breakfast treat on the regular. But then they probably wouldn't let me move there. Lort!

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