Last month the nation took to the polls to settle an argument that no one had been having: what is Denmark’s national dish? The 24 contenders were a collection of nostalgic traditionalism, ranging from a classic open-faced smoked salmon sandwich, to duck with cucumber salad and cabbage. The winner by a hefty margin was the heart-attack-inducing fried pork with parsley sauce, stegt flæsk med persillesovs, which raked in a staggering 44 percent of the vote.
Agriculture minister Dan Jørgensen initiated the competition to get Danes thinking about their country’s culinary tradition. The outcome was, however, questionably representative of Danish tastes, given that only around 63,000 Danes – just over one percent of the population – bothered to vote. This, unsurprisingly, didn’t prevent it morphing into a larger debate about nationalism and immigration.
Former TV chef Camilla Plum lobbed the opening salvo as she took up the charge for Semitic culinary customs, writing on her Facebook page that with the selection of the pork dish “we can be certain that our immigrants will not feel really Danish”.
The return salvo was swift and devastating. While attending a gala premier for the opera The Nutcracker, MP Pia Kjærsgaard expressed her delight that cooked pork won the election, before adding that Plum was a “crazy bitch”.
She later wrote on her Facebook page about the matter, and complained that the competition had cost 1.1 million kroner.
Kjærsgaard was promptly backed up by personal friend, fashion guru and camp nationalist Jim Lyngvild, who posted a video on his Facebook page in which he instructed Plum to “knead dough with her tits and let us love our Danish pork”. He went on to bemoan the “political correctness” espoused by Plum and other “pork fearing spelt pussies”.
Both reactions were met with wild adulation on social media with tens of thousands sharing and liking their updates on the matter.
After the substantive hullabaloo and anger, head of Nationalpartiet Kashif Ahmad joined in the debate on Twitter in an attempt to settle the waves, writing “Oh, come on, this can’t be discrimination. Just as long as we can have a nice time around the dinner table”.
Ahmad thereby managed yet again to cause massive confusion and puzzlement among ordinary Danes, by managing to be both sensible and a Muslim. M
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