Oakland: Nordic House - free, fresh, hot Aebleskiver and other snacks for annual customer appreciation days
Every year after Thanksgiving, Nordic House has customer appreciation days where they open up the back room and make the aebleskiver, a Danish donut. of sorts
They were a little larger than donut holes and light, lovely and eggy. There were flats of eggs on the counter waiting to be made into the next batch. Lingonberry jam and powdered sugar were on the side. Wait a while to snag a fresh hot batch.
There were also some appetizers on Danish bread from Cophenhagen bakery. There was
- Housemade liverpate topped with housemade red cabbage
- Danish salami which was really wonderful and my favorite
- Some sort of Danish headcheese topped with beet sliver
- Thinly sliced brown goat cheese (I think)
There was also coffee and a lovely drink made with Ong's black currant syrup.
Talk about dumb luck. In the decades I've lived in the Bay Area, despite being a regular customer of Neldham's, I never stepped inside Nordic House. Usually it wasn't open. My real destination today was the new-ish BBQ next door (fantastic pulled pork ... more about that in another post).
Anyway, I found a parking place in front. Nordic House was open so I stopped in. I never knew they had a little deli counter. They give samples of the cheeses and cold cuts. So I was tasting the difference between the 35 week and 50 week gammel ole cheese and asked about other items in the deli case. When I asked about the liverpate, they told me about the spread in back.
I asked if they did a customer appreciation day every year the day after Thanksgiving and was told it was thru Sunday. So for sure, on Saturday you can stop by. However, the website says they are closed Sunday, so call to check about that.
And for heaven's sake, BUY something. I bought some of their lovely house-made herring in wine sauce. It is very nice and delicate. I also bought some bottled Skansen herring in wine sauce which I'll probaly save for Christmas eve.
I never realized how much they had. In addition to the deli counter they has a refrigerated and frozen section that included frozen whole lingonberries. The online store on the website has some of the items, but the store is packed with much, much more
Around February 2010, the store will be moving to San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. More info here
2709 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
I forgot to mention that the little buffet in the back also had Danish, probably from Copenhagen bakery.
I didn't realize until I was googling about Nordic House and some of the items on the website how much NH makes themselves. That coldcut that NH described as "like headcheese, but not really" I am guessing is rullepoelse which is a rolled meat. They sell lamb and pork. Don't know which I had, but it is homemade
It seems like this is a great time to go to NH as they make some items they don't usually make the rest of the year ... or they have items fresh rather than frozen like the Juleskinke or Christmas Ham (Fresh November and Dec. Only).
A seasonal item they have on the website is Nordic Fedt or spreadable pork fat. For all you lardo fans, I wonder how this compares.
During this time of year Homemade Nordic House Rugbrod is available.
I was reading through yelp and it seems they have curried herring. I didn't notice that because frankly I'm really new to Danish food other than butter cookies and all those long names were a bit much to take in all at ones. Now I want curried herring
- good licorice selection, especially the double salted
- marzipan pigs (available at Christmas)
- cloudberry jam (which Ikea may also sell, but still it sounds tasty)
- Nokkelost, a Norwegian cow's milk cheese made with cumin and cloves
According to yelpers that last cheese is banned from importing but NH found one of the few sources made in the US.
One thing pointed out was some grocery items could be past expiration date but that the Scandinavians have short expiration dates with items like mustard that expire in nine months. Anyway, in June they seem to have a yearly sale on these items.
I found some cans of sardines I never saw before and I thought I had tried every brand of sardine in the Bay Area. Nearby were fishcakes in coal gravy
Some cheeses not on the website were the Danbo 22 week and Samso
For my own future reference, a link about Danish cheese
Nordic House had a super high quality Smorgasbord buffet about 8 years ago.High end pates and sliced meats ,homemade Swedish meatballs ,pickled hearing ,pumpernickle,and rye ,assorted salads,Homemade mashed potatoes, Plus they sold only one beer...Carlsberg Elephant.
It was fantastic and only $7 as I recall.
I hope they start that back up in their new location.
Stopped by to pick up some curried herring today and ask about the Christmas ham.
It turns out they are open Sundays during December and may have extended hours other days. There is a notebook at the register with special hours.
That same book is where to sign up to order the ham. They sell it throughout December, but it has to be special ordered. There is a 10 lb minimum.
That curried herring is a lovely thing. It is herring in sour cream mixed with curry powder. The spicing is light but just works so well with the herring. Who knew?
I didn't even know that we had a store near by that sells Aebleskiver! So bummed we missed it! (I called and obviously the Nordic House has these free Aebleskiver for the entire Thanksgiving weekend.) Definitely have to try theirs soon.
I make them with Aunt Else's(www.auntelse.com) Aebleskiver mix and they are super easy and delicious (esp w/ apple slices!). We made them with our friends' kids on the day after Thanksgiving (what a coincidence!). It's really fun to make yourself -- watching the batter puff up and turning them and see who's is the most perfectly round!
2709 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
re: Robert Lauriston
Just spoke with them and they are open this week (insist they have been open all week even though it looks dark (?) and will be open in Oakland through the middle of next week. Waiting for their container to arrive to stock the new store then the Oakland store will close and they will open Berkeley the first week in May. So call first before going.