Ali finds himself surrounded by pastries in the Danish Pastry Shop where he learns that the danish isn’t really Danish! But have no fear, he gets his chance to nibble at authentic Danish goodies like Copenhagen squares and Kringle. The pièce de résistance at the bakery is the Kransekage – a special occasion cake of ever-decreasing concentric almond rings.
Joy discovers a Finnish find at the Milbree Viking Bakery & Smokehouse. Naturally, there’s fish galore with the likes of cured salmon (graavilohi in Finnish or gravlax in Swedish), smoked whitefish and matjes pickled herring. From the bakery, Joy is introduced to cardamom-flavoured Pulla coffee bread, Finnish sour rye and street eat Lihapiirakka – a veal and rice patty.
Ali crashes a Swedish cooking lesson for kids at the Beaches Bakeshop and learns how to make a Swedish Uppsala cake with apples and cinnamon. Hopefully Ali can keep up! Chef Anna Tvinnereim also tells the story behind Jansson’s temptation, a potato and anchovy dish, and teaches Ali how to prepare a Swedish cucumber dish called pressgurka.
At Sunset Villa, Joy and Ali experience quintessential Scandinavian dining – Smørrebrød open-faced sandwiches. These beautiful creations are topped with favourites like salmon, shrimp, beef or cheese and garnished artfully with fried onions and curled cucumber slivers. As the Danes say, fish have to swim – the meal would not be complete without a drink! The hosts get the skinny on the origins of the “skaal” toast, then drink up Viking-style with Tuborg beer and Akvavit, Danish snaps.
The Danish Pastry Shop, 1017 Pape Avenue, Toronto, 416-425-8877
Milbree Viking, 133 Laird Drive, Toronto, 416-425-7200
The Beaches Bake Shop, 900 Kingston Road, Toronto, 416-686-2391
Taste-Buddies children's cooking classes, 416-686-2391 or 416-939-6600
Sunset Villa, RR2, Concession 1, Puslinch, 519-824-0539