This week I needed Okra. This was the first time I have needed Okra since moving to DK, but I had a new recipe I was experimenting with and REALLY REALLY needed Okra. So what is a girl to do?? Put out an SOS on Facebook, of course! Within 30 minutes of posting my request, I was getting answers.....but I was also getting questions from my Danish friends such as, "What in the heck is OKRA?!" I could not answer them as Okra was nowhere to be found in my big red Danish dictionary! No wonder Danes don't know what it is....there is not a word for it! I even tried to look up Okra on Wikipedia and then switch my page to the Danish version....yep, only found Dutch!
So for all my Danish friends....here it is! First picture is what it looks like right off the vine and second is after I have removed the tops and bottoms and chopped it up. Where did I find this little wonder, you might ask?? Well, my Danish friend, Mathias, saw my SOS on FB on his iPhone, was already in Århus shopping, and wrote me back to say that he would start looking! At the same time, my Venezuelan friend, Monica, said she thought she had seen something similar at the Turkish market in Herning, but she was not sure.... Long story short, I GOT MY OKRA! Mathias found it in an Asian market in Århus (along with many other amazing treasures that you can ONLY find in those places in DK!)
So then the question came of "WHAT THE HECK DID YOU DO WITH THIS STUFF?" Made something DELICIOUS! Just ask my Viking!
So is this blog about OKRA?
NOPE! Although it may definitely seem that way!
This blog is about what the OKRA taught me!
All expats/immigrants/foreigners/refugees, etc...(you decide what name best fits you) are looking to find the things they need on a regular basis and usually they are the things they had in their home country and it SURE WOULD BE NICE if we could find something similar here in our new homes. So my advice is
GET A NETWORK and make sure your network INCLUDES DANES!
I have helped one expat friend find a VET this week, another expat friend find a hair salon and my other expat friend helped our other expat friend work on finding a pumpkin patch to photograph her son in! That, plus the OKRA! And that's just THIS WEEK!
So if you are not on Facebook or some other electronic social site, I recommend that you get there and that you find as many friends in your situation... living in Herning, expat, etc.... There are LOTS of us out there plus we all have Danish friends who know so much more about DK than we will ever know! So if we all help each other find these things to make life easier, more comfortable, and in my case, MORE DELICIOUS, I think we just might make it in our new home in HC Andersen Land! And if you need a place to start, add me on FB! I feel like I have a place to find all my answers and would love to share that network with you!
Isn't social networking just wonderful?
Congrats on finding your okra, Kelli! The World is such a great place... it's even better when we all stay connected. Bon apetit! Skål, too!
No okra in Denmark. LOL. They really need educating on food, don't they?
It is wonderful to use the WWW to connect with others. Thanks for all the help!
So, are you going to share your okra recipe? I know I am interested!
If you take the Binomial name from Wikipedia and google that together with the word Dansk or Danish, you'll find that it's called Abelmoschus, gombo, gumbo or okra in Danish (Not that it will help any Danes, because we still don't know what the heck it is, but at least you have a Danish word for it to use while you explain)
This is a link to a page on eatingwell.com regarding how to love the five most hated vegetables in the US. As a Danish American who will not touch Okra I just want Kelli to make sure that people in Denmark (and MADS) do not think that most Americans (99%) either like Okra or have either heard of it. It is a very very very regional dish to a very particular area. I have a whole section of my family in Oklahoma and Texas who eats it and I just pass the bowl on to the next person with a smile and say "Enjoy". ;-) However, Kelli, I am so happy for you that you were so creative in finding it in Denmark. That was awesome and inspiring.
Amanda, here you go!
And TUSIND TAK, Anarella & Nina!
OMG. Doug grew so much okra in our front yard this summer that I felt hideously challenged to find new ways to use it in recipes every single day. Wish I could have zipped it to you like in one of those canisters they have at the drive-in banks ;-)
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