Lumpfish roe with smoked cheese on a piece of crisp rye bread. A delicious starter only available a few weeks a year, and Danes love it.
Fresh lumpfish roe is in season from January til March, depending on how warm the sea is. Typicially the season last 4-6 weeks. You can get lumpfish roe all year round, frozen or canned, but nothing beats the real thing. If you haven’t tried it, you must! Canned roe is usually dyed red or black and people use it as a cheap substitute for caviar. It has nothing to do with fresh roe.
Fresh natural lumpfish roe is beautiful. A soft pink colour with touch of mother of pearl. The roe should never be beige or red. If the latter, it has been dyed.
Lumpfish roe, smoked cheese and rye bread are ingredients Danes are very fond of.
Smoked cheese is one of the few original Danish cheeses, and Danes have been making it for centuries. It is a very soft cheese, seasoned with salt and caraway and smoked with straw. If you cannot get a hold of Danish smoked cheese, use a soft creamy cheese made of cows milk. The smokiness, however, goes really well with the roe.
Rye bread is one of those products, Danes cannot live without. We eat it for lunch every day. It is full of fiber and is the base for our open sandwiches, known as Smørrebrød.
Use any kind of rye bread you can get a hold of. I like the German-style bread, Pumpernickel, for this dish. It is really dark and dense. It ususally comes pre-sliced in small packages.