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Schnitzel in Copenhagen? Denmark Gets a Kosher Restaurant

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Finally, a communal place to eat and socialize with Jewish locals and tourists

Taim is open six evenings a week and also offers catering. (Photo: Chabad of Denmark)

Visitors to Denmark—the southernmost of the Nordic countries—have long been able to enjoy such attractions as the original Legoland Billund Resort (opened in 1968), the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense. The capital city of Copenhagen offers equally famous sites, such as the Tivoli Gardens, the Rosenborg Castle Gardens, multiple palaces and the 104-year-old “Little Mermaid” statue, based on Danish author Andersen’s fairytale of the same name.

Now, travelers, and local residents, of course, can also enjoy a full-course meal at Denmark’s only kosher restaurant.

“After many years of living in Copenhagen, it is fantastic to have this opportunity—for myself and my family—to both enjoy tasty kosher food and have the social benefits a restaurant brings. We are happy and very excited,” Bo Aronsohn, a Copenhagen-based car mechanic originally from Sweden, tells Chabad.org.

Hummus and vegetables (Photo: Chabad of Denmark)

Emilia Miszkiewicz and her 11-year-old son Jacob, who moved to Denmark from Sweden four years ago, visited the newly opened Taim (“tasty” in Hebrew) inside the Chabad House the night before he left for a week away at overnight camp. She happily relates that Jacob calls Taim: “Food of dreams!”

“I don’t have a favorite yet, but I like the grilled chicken,” reports Miszkiewicz, whose family keeps kosher. Jacob enjoyed the chicken schnitzel with French fries.

Having the opportunity to eat a kosher meat meal out in Denmark is no small matter. A Danish law passed on Feb. 24, 2014, requires that all animals slaughtered in Denmark must be stunned before being killed. The law effectively bans all kosher and halal (for Muslims) slaughter in Denmark; thus, kosher meat may only be imported to Denmark

While Emilia can’t speak for Copenhagen’s diverse community about having a kosher restaurant, she says “for me and my family, it means a new opportunity that has not existed before—namely, going out to eat.”

Visitors can start with forret(“appetizers”), including the soup of the day. Smoked Norwegian salmon, caramelized noodles or a hummus platter comes next, followed by salater (“salads”), such as a fresh garden salad, Israeli vegetable salad, beet salad and red-cabbage salad. Hovedret (“main dishes”) offer three types of chicken—grilled chicken breast, caramelized chicken and sesame-encrusted schnitzel (a pounded chicken breast). The menu also features rib-eye steak, a turkey patty, grilled salmon and goulash, that classic spiced stew of meat and veggies. Entrees include two side dishes or salads (French fries, mashed potatoes, two types of rice and grilled vegetables), with a wide selection of items on the children’s menu. Beer, wine, whiskey, vodka and champagne are available, and the crème de la crème comes in the form of dessert—namely, the chocolate dream cake (or for those who prefer it, scoops of nondairy ice-cream).

‘Take the Plunge and Go Forward’

Shabbat and holiday meals have always been available at Chabad. But now, local residents and tourists can enjoy a large selection of kosher items on weekday evenings, too. The restaurant, located in the main hall of the Chabad House, is open six evenings a week from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (closed on Shabbat and Jewish holidays). Taim also offers catering and delivery to area hotels and conference centers.

The wondrous city of Copenhagen has much to offer the first time traveler in terms of history, culture, the arts and entertainment venues

While the restaurant is barely a month old, Chabad-Lubavitchemissaries Rabbi Yitzchok (“Yitzi”) and Rochel Loewenthal have been discussing the concept for a long time. “We have been doing different versions of a restaurant for many years and have had regular restaurant evenings offering different kinds of food.”

The rabbi stresses the idea of hyggespisenings: the Danish concept of a community social meal. The country places a real emphasis on food culture—encouraging people to sit and savor food, spending time enjoying good company and quality ingredients, and including children in the kitchen and the cooking process.

In addition to serving the community, the restaurant helps support the local kosher store, Gils Deli, which provides meat for Taim. It also creates a few local jobs.

“We had already been hosting, cooking, serving and catering food; this is another step in that direction. We just decided to take the plunge and go forward,” says Loewenthal. “After all, we think it’s important to have a kosher eatery in Denmark.”

By: Howard Blas


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