HCA NEWS Hans Christian Andersen on the menu

The restaurant "Under Lindetræet" in Odense will be offering a 128-year old Hans Christian Andersen dinner on its menu.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 22 April 2003

Hans Christian Andersen loved good food and drink, and he ate out every single day most of his life. In collaboration with the celebration of his 200th birthday in 2005, the restaurant "Under Lindetræet" in Odense is offering on its menu a multi-course meal, which was served to Andersen 128 years ago.

It is the meal Hans Christian Andersen was served on the last birthday of his life, 2 April 1875, when he turned 70. The dinner took place at the home of the Melchior family in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen, where he lived the last few months of his life.

Unfortunately, Hans Christian Andersen was in a feeble state, but he was still looking forward to the impressive menu and later described the dinner as something quite special. Particularly in light of the eight courses and the elegant manner in which it was put together.

Fairy tale courses
Each course was prepared in the spirit of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and, on the menu card, courses and wines were accompanied by small titles and quotations from the fairy tales. For example, the fourth course on the menu, "Sweetbreads en croûte with green peas", was accompanied by the quotation: "What One Can Invent". And the "wild fowl" course was dubbed "The Wild Swans".

The restaurant "Under Lindetræet" has put together the original menu in cooperation with the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which is situated on the other side of the street and is, therefore, a neighbor. For practical reasons, however, "Under Lindetræet" has combined two of the eight dishes and changed the open-face sandwiches at the end of the meal to canapés.

"The menu is nothing less than an ingenious combination of fresh ingredients and delicacies, which shows to a great degree that the differences are not that great between what people ate then and what we eat today. You can also see in the composition of the dishes that the family was Jewish.  his does not make the dishes less interesting," John Kofod, restaurateur for "Under Lindetræet".