Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Danish Bakery Vending Machines

 © Wolfgang Sauber

I've been searching on the internet for mentions or pictures of Danish bakery vending machines, but can't find any.  I'm starting to wonder if I made up this memory.

But I don't think I did.  When I lived in Denmark, the small towns all had a bakery or two, with a distinct golden kringle sign hanging outside the door.  You could count on flaky pastries, always made with butter.  (Though in Denmark, you can't get a Danish--they're called wienerbrød there, which means Viennese Bread).

 And here's the memory.  Every bakery (or at least the ones near my Danish farm) had a little vending machine outside the front door.  When you went out for the evening, to parties or dancing, chances were good you'd be riding your bicycle home early the next morning.  And you'd be hungry. 

The bakeries, of course, weren't open at three in the morning.  But the bakers were already hard at work.  And one of the first things they baked each night were rundstykker, which translates simply as 'round pieces'.  As soon as the rolls came out of the oven, the bakers put some into the vending machines. 

Teenagers and young adults on their way home post-party would pick up a bag of rundstykker, and ride home to their kitchens.  The still warm rundstykker, with their thin crisp crust, shattered open to warm soft interiors.  We spread them with good Danish butter, made a pot of tea, and sat down to reminiscing of the evening already just a memory.

I hope the vending machine rundstykker isn't just a memory too. 


Jessica said...

That sounds heavenly.
When I was in Japan last summer the hostel where we stayed had a takoyaki (fried octopus balls) vending machine. I really wanted to try them just to see how horrible they would be but I never got up the nerve. This was, of course, next to the beer and whiskey vending machine.

Giovanna said...

I think I could work up the nerve to try the beer and whiskey vending machine.

Thérèse said...

Well, fried octopus balls sound potentially tasty to me! Maybe with a vending-machine beer alongsie.

Giovanna said...

Yes, the fried octopus balls sound like a possibility as well...though you might hope they hadn't been sitting TOO long!

Jessica said...

I found a photo of a bread vending machine.

Giovanna said...

Thanks Jessica-that one (which is in the Netherlands) looks as if it's geared towards actual shopping. The ones I remember in Denmark were a bit different--the bakers had access to them from within the bakery; its purpose was primarily to sell warm rolls before the bakery was open. I don't remember anyone ever buying bread from one during daytime hours.

Anonymous said...

I too remember the vending machines that are outside of the bakeries in Denmark! I lived in Aalborg for a year while I was in college, and we used to frequent these little machines late at night! I was wondering if they still have them and fill them in the evenings? I am traveling to Denmark this summer and wanted to show my son this wonderful invention!

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