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Monday, September 04, 2006

Old Towne Orange International Food Festival...



Tonight I attended the Old Towne Orange International Food Festival, which included a Danish street! Nothing made me happier than approaching random Danes (or "Danes by marriage"as some of their buttons indicated), and speaking to them about my love for Danish culture.

I was able to gather a wealth of information about Danish events in my local area as well as Danish lessons that are available to take in Yorba Linda. (I got to listen to Danish accents, which I love! I was so inspired that I bought some Danish CD's later at Barnes and Nobles, something I have been wanting to invest in for awhile). I even got invited to a happy hour after the Danish Sunday mass. I am considering a membership in their church to gain access to endless events with traditional Danish food and undoubtedly awesome Danish folks (Does that make me a bad person, or a smart person?). The fair itself could have used some more traditional Danish food, but being able to chat with some Danes was enough to make me happy for tonight.

I may not be moving back to Denmark anytime soon, but a life with some Southern California American-Danish fusion action will have to do for now.

There were no promising pastry sightings at the food festival (disappointing, particularly in the area of Danish pastries), mostly there were a lot of fried "pastry" items being sold at the booths that were not so appealing to me. But I still got my international groove on and chowed down on some bratwurst!

While in Old Towne Orange, I also noticed that the Frogs Breath Cheese Store is attempting to start some wine/cheese tasting events (pending approval from the city of Orange), so I am looking forward to swinging on by and checking it out. I don't know of many cheese stores around here so I am planning on going back there during their normal business hours. (It was closed during the fair, which was a shame because I was in the mood to buy some cheese).

I am reminded of the Danish phrase "Jeg elsker ost!", which is Danish for "I love cheese!". My host sister was quite proud of me when I successfully learned to repeat this one after Danish class. I would be even prouder if I could remember the names of cheeses that I sample (I always get so darn caught up in the cheese sampling moment that I forget to write them down. Or, I eat the cheese with wine and forget to care or have slightly illegible writing).

While we're on the subject, there is one particular cheese that I enjoyed in Denmark that is a mystery to me. It was insanely stinky, very strong, and very delicious with fresh bread, butter, and jam in the morning. (Also, my Danish family and I invented a sandwich with this "mystery" cheese, butter, jam, and then some Port Salut cheese which was truly unforgettable--a sandwich I have been craving since June of 2005). Someone help me discover my lost mystery cheese! The one in my host family's fridge never had a label, and they could never seem to tell me the name of it in a way that I could understand or repeat as a non-native Danish speaker. Oh, what to do!?

I will continue my quest for this lost cheese! I have decided that Orange County is lacking in its amount of cheese shops featuring cheeses that smell grotesque but taste amazing. If anyone knows of any, please pass them along to me. These are the times when I wish that I could stroll through the cheese shops in France once again and inhale the strong odors of truly legendary cheese. (I could speak of my favorite goat cheese pastry here, but it deserves a blog post of its own, believe me--I await my next trip to Paris just so I can go and have this one amazing pastry. It is worth a lifetime of saving for that next plane ticket abroad).
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