Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hygge: Like No Danish or Concept You Have Ever Known

Have you ever had a danish? No, no, no.... I don't mean the jam or custard filled things you find at most bakeries. I mean a REAL danish. Well I have and you can too if you visit Hygge Bakery in Downtown LA. 

What does Hygge mean? Well, apparently it doesn't translate directly into english, but I found an illustration of the term on the world wide web. 

"Gather the family and invite over a couple of good friends. Push the sofas and chairs up close to the coffee table. Douse the electricity and light some candles. Better yet, light a fire in the hearth. Serve plenty of food and drink. Raise a toast or two, or three, and feel the warmth flow around the table. Look at each other until you see the candlelight shimmering in each other's eyes. You've got hygge!"

Isn't that beautiful! Well so are the danishes!

When I first walked in I was overwhelmed; I had never been inside a bakery whose pastries, for the most part, were completely foreign to me! I asked a ton of questions and received answers to all of them, plus samples,  from a very friendly and helpful staff. The "slice," pictured above, was one of my favorites and one of their best sellers. It is a light flaky danish filled with custard, chocolate and icing, all of which come together in delicious harmony. 

Here are some wonderful pastries I didn't get to try :(

But I did get to try these rum balls! They were chocolaty rummy goodness! 

And this tree truck was also excellent! Similar to the rum ball in the center: moist, chocolaty and rummy, but covered with a delicious layer of marzipan and drizzled with more chocolate.

Not to mention the prices were so affordable! I like this hygge concept, especially in the heart of Downtown LA where it is very much needed.


  1. I just saw your blog, and read your post on the Danish bakery.
    The words hyggelig or hygge- yes it can't really be translated, but if translated to an english word it would be cozy..
    Hygge or hyggelig is a situation- the atmosphere can be hyggelig.. it can imply different things and situations.. Often if you talk to you friends, you can ask them if they wanna come over to your place and "hygge".
    We do it a lot especially in the winter time, since the weather is cold, windy, rainy and it is dark out side.. then you sit with you friends on the couch, with pillows and a duvet (we don't use blankets for sleeping but big duvets with feathers)- and then we watch a film, chat or what ever..
    An other senario would be when you are having dinner with friends, talk, laugh and just having a good time..
    Those are situations when we use the words hygge or hyggeligt.. I guess we use the words almost every day ^_^
    hope it was helpful :-)
    by the way next time you go to the bakery ask for a "tall chocolate snail" those are yum.. If you want to try VERY DANISH bread, go for the rye bread. it is very healthy, and ALL danes eat it every day for lunch. strawberry tarts are also really tasty..

  2. That sounds wonderful! We don't really "hygge" here in the LA, because there are few days that would warrant it. But I think it is something I want to institute when my husband and I move to San Francisco where is is cold and foggy often! I love the idea of down comforters, fires, and movies! And danishes of course!

  3. Yeah, it is great.. Don't forget the tea candles.. and lots and lots of them.
    I am just very excited about hopefully moving to California next fall, and actually wont have to deal with all the rain, cold and wind :-)
    If you see a place where you can get something called ris ala mande, then buy it.. it is a danish dessert that we eat at christmas time. it like a rice budding i guess..
    you boil short grain rice in milk and with vanilla. let it cool down, mix it with chopped almonds (peeled), vanilla sugar, whipped cream, candid sugar i think its called, and then u mix it all together. You eat it with hot cherry sauce on top, and it is amazing..