laugardagur, desember 17, 2005


Passing a sidewalk cart selling churros (snakey, ribbed, fried), I find myself sniffing the air in expectation of the smell of roasted, sugared nuts. It is a Copenhagen holiday smell and a Reykjavík-aspiring-to-Copenhagenhood holiday smell. I once encountered a cloud of it while exiting Kringlan on Þorláksmessa, discovered that the mall had stationed there a girl with a cart selling varme nødder. I exclaimed, as did my companion, and we exclaimed again when the girl responded in unmistakable københavnsk. We were very impressed with the commitment to authenticity: not merely roasted nuts but an actual Danish girl to sell them to you. Perhaps it was merely Kringlan aspiring to be Strøget, but my companion bought a little paper cone of them and munched happily as we treaded across the car park with our last-minute purchases.

I miss that roasted nut smell here, though there are plenty of other holiday smells and sweet things to consume. A frenzy of baking has fallen upon me, and I have been dealing yoghurt cake and oatmeal cookies, cupcakes and muffins with both hands. Earlier today I felt the urge to boil sugar and make tray upon tray of pralines, blobs of southern decadence lumpy with pecans. This evening I realize that I have only ever made pralines with súrmjólk, and I cannot find súrmjólk here.

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