In September at DIS, each core course explores a different part of Denmark to immerse themselves in their field of study. My class, Sustainable Food Production and Consumption, visited Bornholm, a small island and popular holiday destination with a growing reputation for its food scene. And because we study food, our trip wouldn’t be complete without trying some of Bornholm’s best vegetarian dishes. Many thanks to our teacher and intrepid leader Emmanuel Gentil who obtained very impressive reservations! There will be a more detailed article about our study trip next time, but for now, enjoy some photos!
This hotel and conference center is an innovator in ecotourism. They tried different ways to introduce more plant-based options to their clientele, worked to stop buffet-style meals because they produce a lot of food waste, and worked with their architects and designers to implement techniques. of durable construction. For example, they built extensions on the existing hotel and use no glue so the building materials can still be reused. They also had south-leaning solar panels on the roof. The GSH for innovation in the hotel industry and good plant-based food.
Here we tried Havtorn marmalade and blue cheese on crackers (10/10), gløgg of non-alcoholic hot Havtorn juice (like mulled wine, also 10/10), and of course Havtorn berries freshly picked! We also braved the brambles and tried some of the last wild blackberries of the season growing near the Havtorn fields.
Stop 3: Try licorice sticks at Svanke Købmandshandel, hyggelig grocery store (Google Maps)
They may look like twigs, but they are actually the dried roots of the licorice plant. They have a slight licorice flavor and take some practice to avoid eating the fiber. I liked them but there were mixed reviews.
It wasn’t specifically a vegetarian restaurant, but they cooked a meal just for us: lentil curry over crunchy cauliflower topped with roasted chickpeas and herbs. Dessert was apple sorbet, havtorn sorbet (take two) and a mix of warm seasonal berries like blackberries and currants.
After touring the hemp fields, co-founder Signe offered us hot hemp tea, perfect for the cold, rainy weather. She even sent us with tea samples! I highly recommend the Calm Blend which tastes the least like hemp. Also, if you get it as a souvenir, you should be able to cross borders as Bornholmerhampen uses industrial hemp which does not contain THC. But of course, always check! In addition to following organic and biodynamic farming practices, the company uses pressed turmeric from a local juice brand in its hemp and turmeric tea, reducing waste and keeping production as local as possible.
It was by far my favorite meal and the hotel was so beautiful! Here we tried an abbreviated version of their vegetarian tasting menu. Although there are still visitors to this spa hotel and the Green Solutions House who prefer traditional meat meals, it is good that a vegetarian option is available and visible.
Stop 7: Make kombucha at Garden with the owner and founder of Nordic Fermentation and Bornholm Kombucha, Malene Rossil (website, instagram).
I liked how Malene’s kombuchas weren’t too sweet or painfully fizzy. Indeed, CO2 is the result of a natural fermentation process. It’s also better for the environment than injecting CO2 gas. Malene was a wonderful workshop host and brought us fruits and berries from her garden that we could flavor our own kombucha with. We also learned that you can eat the SCOBY — that pancake of friendly bacteria and yeast that’s like a sourdough starter for making kombucha — and make gummies out of it by mixing it with fruit.
We also tried crackers from Bager Dam, an organic bakery in Bornholm, which were made with leftover blueberry pulp and mint kombucha. Come to think of it, I think it’s the crackers we had in Høstet… So many Bornholm businesses are connected. In turn, Malene uses sea buckthorn leaves, a byproduct of harvesting havtorn berries, to brew her kombucha.
This semester, besides sustainable food, we have a lot to learn about the art of persuasion. Restaurant Molen is a gourmet restaurant that our teacher Emmanuel challenged to serve our class a vegetarian/vegan menu. The restaurant was beautiful and it was a really cool experience.
Stop 9: Lunch at Le Port restaurant (website)
This is the only non-vegetarian group meal we’ve had. I was vegetarian and had a salad. My classmates did however have smoked salmon, a local dish. They also served licorice bread which was surprisingly good.
The Økobornholm project helps new farmers get started without tying them to farming. They provide the land and access to a shared farm store, packing room, elevated tunnel, among other tools. Økobornholm is in turn supported by the GAL-Bornholm which funds local businesses working towards a common goal. We visited Økobornholm member Hammersly Farm (which you can volunteer at through workaway) where we learned about their organic farming practices and sampled edible flowers, cherry tomatoes and wild plums.
Stop 11: ⭐️Bonus⭐️ Veggie Burger Tasting in Copenhagen
Back in Copenhagen, we ended the week by cooking lunch together in one of the classrooms. There was a couscous salad with tomatoes, lemon and mint; bread and hummus; ~flaky salt~; and three kinds of plant-based burgers. It was fun but I still think the Impossible Burger tastes funny. For dessert, Emmanuel flambéed potatoes.
As you can see, we saw and experienced a lot in just three days, and I haven’t even mentioned our cultural visit to Hammerhus Castle and our scenic coastal walks. Thanks to Emmanuel and the DIS study tour team for organizing a fantastic trip, to Jade for being a wonderful co-manager of the trip, to our speakers for sharing your time and knowledge, and finally and above all, to all the chefs who have fed us.