I’m starting a new blog series called “Denmark’s Must-Do’s” which dives into all of my bucket list Danish things that I will (hopefully!) be doing with my remaining month here in Copenhagen. The idea is not only to do these things but recommend to others how to do them. Is the activity worth it? How can someone get the best experience out of the activity? As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
In my last post on the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, I talked about Wednesday snails, also known as “onsdagssnegle.” They’re these delicious cinnamon rolls that St. Peder’s Bakery serves at a discount on Wednesdays. Well, I decided to go back to St. Peder’s and write about the experience for the “Denmark’s Must-Do’s” series I’ve started. These pastries are a classic here in Copenhagen, a “Must-Do” some may say. And I decided, for no other reason than good writing experience, that I would eat these delectable pastries … oh, the sacrifices I make for this blog … #doitfortheblog
A little background on St. Peder’s Bakery before I write the food critique … according to Lonely Planet, “Sankt Peders Bageri” is the oldest bakery in the city, dating back to 1652. It stands on a cute corner near St. Peder’s church in the Medieval District of Copenhagen, only a 3 minute walk from DIS. The building is even protected by the city because it is such a vital historical landmark (I have a theory that the city wants to keep the shop around just for their cinnamon pastries). They sell their snails daily but on Wednesday, with their special deal, they sell an average of 4000 pastries.
So back to why St. Peder’s Bakery is a “Must-Do” in Denmark, let me just paint a picture for you. On St. Peder’s street sits the little sunshine yellow bakery with the giant pretzel sign reminiscent of a German postcard. The storefront window, inscribed with the words “Sct. Peder’s Bageri,” lures you in with the glimpse into the rows and rows of freshly made pastries. Stepping through the front door, you’re immediately overtaken by the sweet, yeasty aroma of baked goods. “It reminds me of Easter,” my friend Sarah told me. The shop is small — not a place for studying but for long conversations sitting on the black and white checkered cushions along the wall — but cozy with its golden chandeliers and wooden accents. And what better way to enjoy a conversation than with a pastry in one hand and a coffee in the other?
Sarah (pictured) woke up this morning with a text from me saying, “Wednesday snails?!” which, according to her, is the BEST way to wake up. So here she is, excitedly waiting for the best pastries in all of Copenhagen.
Tip: I’d recommend getting to St. Peder’s early in the day as they often times run out. I’d also recommend waiting for a freshly made batch of snails. We waited ten minutes for our pastries (worth the wait!).
The first bite is … well, I’m the type of cinnamon roll eater that only mildly enjoys the outside — you know, the crispy, breadier part that, while coated in cinnamon, sits dryly on your tongue and forces you to take a sip of your drink to swallow it down — but I’m really here for the inside of the roll. I’m here for the doughy sugar explosion, the under-cooked melt-in-your-mouth, doused in frosting center part of the pastry. Well, for those of you out there that feel the same as me, that patiently eat the outer ring of the snail knowing that it will be worth it the further into the spiral you get, I have a pro-tip for you … well, Sarah has a pro-tip for you. Sarah is my best friend (she is my roommate back at St. Olaf) and she lives in the Culinary LLC here, so I trust her food judgment. She recommends dipping the outer bready ring into the center dollop of frosting. Coating the dry bread in the creamy sweetness makes every part of the pastry a part to look forward to. I recommend accompanying your Wednesday snail with a cup of coffee. The sweet and the bitter complement one another perfectly.
Pictured: The snails are affordable at the low price of 18 kroner (that’s under 3 USD) and filling! Of course, if you get them every single Wednesday (@me), the cost starts to add up.
My favorite part of the experience was the atmosphere of the bakery. Sarah and I, in Danish Hygge fashion, took our time eating our snails and enjoying the Natasha Bedingfield album playing. During that time, waves of people entered and exited the shop. Groups of teenagers, DIS students, couples and even a dog came in to St. Peder’s bakery to grab a bite of a cinnamon roll (the dog was particularly interested in my snail). And by the end of our meal, the entire tray of freshly made snails was empty.
I would highly recommend St. Peder’s Wednesday snails if you plan on coming to Copenhagen. After my cozy, Hyggelit, DELICIOUS experience, I would place these cinnamon rolls high on my “Denmark’s Must-Do’s” list.