It was the first fast food “at home” and is still considered almost a national dish today. Whether you prefer the raw and fried onion version, with sliced pickles and three types of sauces or in the latest gourmet versions, the real and original hot dog made in Denmark is 100 years old.
It was, in fact, January 18, 1921, when six small white carts began selling the first sausages accompanied by bread and mustard on the streets of Copenhagen, inspired by German comfort food.
The gastronomic novelty had already taken hold also in Sweden and Norway and many had applied to the Municipality to obtain authorization for street sales from the closing of the restaurants until 2:30 in the morning. But each time they were rejected for different reasons, from fears of obstruction to traffic to the fact that eating on the street was considered unbecoming. In addition, traditional restaurants obstructed requests in every way for fear of new competitors. Finally, in 1921, the Danish Charles Svendsen Stevns, who had been running a thriving hot dog stand in Kristiania (now Oslo) for ten years, obtained permission to also sell them on the streets of several locations near Copenhagen.
Very different from what we know today, the first vans were small carts with large wooden wheels and only the more elaborate ones had a canopy for shelter. The sausages cost 25 ›kings and an extra 5› re was required for the bread: not a little in the 1920s, yet it was an immediate success, so much so that the kiosks conquered not only the streets of the capital, but also of Odense , Aarhus and Aalborg.
And the hot dogs were also at the center of a real protest: most of the vans were in fact in the hands of wealthy entrepreneurs who earned between 140 and 700 crowns a week per van, while the average salary of their employees was 25 crowns per week. In 1942, some of them teamed up to present the mayor with a petition for review and the new rules finally established that hot dog sellers were self-employed, with individual permits. That is why most of the kiosks you come across in any city in Denmark are named after its current or historical owner: Lone’s Sausages, John’s Hotdog Deli, Harry’s Place.
Although there are now only 10% left over from the post World War II boom, hot dog stands are still a cultural institution in Denmark today.
Which one to choose? In addition to the “ristet p› lse “(” classic “version with a sausage stuffed into a piece of bread with a hole in the center), don’t miss the” con laquette “one, or wrapped in bacon and flavored with sauces, fried onions and pickled gherkins. And perhaps also accompanied by a bottle of Cocio, the typical chocolate milk. For the most refined palates, the starred MeMu restaurant in Vejle has won the last two national hot dog championships. In 2019, their recipe included smoked apples, chorizo, pickled local glasswort, and habanero pepper mayonnaise. (HANDLE).