September 14, 2011

Skankynavia: Torvehallerne: A New Farmer’s Market in Copenhagen

by Anders

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Yay, there’s finally a real farmer’s market in Copenhagen!

After decades of supermarket deathbore, a new race of DIY vendors, small farmers, honey harvesters and local produce hippies will show up in their home-built vans with truckloads of cheap, fresh, delicious and organic fruits of the earth, and deliver the goods our generation has been raving about for the last 15 years!!!

Or not.

You see, there’s not really any money in cheap healthy produce or farmer hippies. Where’s the sex? Where are the cool, trendy metropolitan vibes? What are tourists going to do with a nasty soiled leaf of freshly picked spinach?

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Nah, let’s scrap all that and invite all the chain shops around Copenhagen to squeeze in a miniature version of themselves into the new, trendy starchitect-built glass halls so the tourists and Copenhageners who don’t know better will have yet another place to buy a latte, a box of frozen dinner or an overpriced premixed cupcake ($5.50 for a small cupcake, anyone?).

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Entrance to one of the two long glass halls. The white and red stickers are horrid and reduce the lines of the architecture to a suburban discount mall. Please get rid of those now.

So, that is state of the art “farmer’s market” anno 2011. As you can probably tell, yours truly is slightly underwhelmed. But now that I’ve gotten all this out of my system I have to admit that it’s better than nothing. Even though things are overpriced with discrete hints of tourist trap and snobbish wannabe hip city culture, I actually have fun there.

It’s become a new place to hang out with friends. Instead of sitting in a cafe bitching about bypassers’ haircuts and lack of footwear style (American tourists usually take the win, sorry guys), well at Torvehallerne you can walk and bitch at the same time. It’s fabulous. You can use one hand to hold your overpriced latte and the other to point at stuff or carry bags of luxury chocolate, a shark’s head or salt scrub if you have dry skin on your eyeballs (from looking at too many Crocs).

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During warm days they open up the whole side of the glass building right next to the Coffee Collective coffee stand and you can sit outside on benches and watch five baristas at work simultaneously inside. People want their shopping latte.

So I will stop being a drag and not complain anymore. At least it’s here–now we can work (and shop deliberately) to make it better. I made the mistake on going on a Saturday when EVERYONE alive on Earth had decided to shop at Torvehallerne. I could barely see the individual stalls due to the long lines of human fat in motion. But I did my best to shuffle and push peeps around to catch a glimpse of the goods with my lens.

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Slagter Lund: I like that they put up white tiles and old photos of butchers.

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Another butcher across the hallway. Before I buy any meat I would like to borrow his knife and cut off his Seattle 1994 goat beard before it ends up in my steak tatare.

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But props to them for using a nice font to write the prices. Old school serifs FTW!

Live lobsters screaming for mercy in lobster language. Unfortunately at Torvehallerne no one can hear you scream.

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Buckle up, guys. Yamahomo will come for you in a minute.

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Lots of expensive chocolate from exclusive boutique brand AXOCO from Danish chocolate factory Anton Berg.

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Cofoco Supermarche offers frozen dinners, sauces and side dishes. Not cheap. But easy.

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A shop sells kitchen knives, murder weapons and more chocolate bits.

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A deli offering freshly made dishes. Why use tools when you have two hands (and lots of body hair)? Yum.

Fresh garlic from France, $3 a bulb:

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At least the style is more what I think of in regard to farmer’s markets: rustic and natural.

French chickens with head:

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Quite photogenic. Is that what they call beautiful mortality?

Italian chocolate cigars at $10 a piece:

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So politically incorrect, I love it. Buy one for each of your grand children.

This is more market square style:

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That’s what I’m talking about–real unprocessed food. These are fresh herbs to take home and plant in your window or in a pot next to your bed for that healthy moonlight snack.

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$5 mint, time and oregano.

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This place is fun, you can mix your own food oil. Or foot oil? Didn’t quite get the details.

You can always use more oil when eating a slice of pizza.

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Veggies: looking good but the prices are silly.

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$5 for a box of cherry tomatoes that are not even organic or Danish.

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Hanging hams and Italian specialties.

Tapas del Toro:

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People in Copenhagen are suckers for red wine and tapas hence the totally crowded corner stall with bar chairs so people can get their drank on and desperately try to make believe they’re on holiday. I really don’t get tapas, it’s oily, salty, lots of dull bread and fatty meat, you never know if the food is old as it already sits there on the bar desk when you order it, possibly having been slowly rotting for days–and also there’s never enough to get you full. I also hate wine. Guess Spain isn’t on my to-do list.

The Chinese Merchant:

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Also overpriced like cray cray. $5 for a small block of silk tofu. $9 for a small pack of miso. I miss Tokyo and California and their food prices.

Organic malt drops made on an island in Denmark:

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The red “Ø” is the official Danish logo for organic foods. Organic is “økologisk” in Danish, hence the Ø.

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Different French food oils; walnut, hazelnut, olive, some herb, and lemon/garlic.

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Peter Jackson called, he wants his Lord of the Rings extras back.

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$5.50 cupcake (quite small). Love the Italian Almond flavour though, sweet and crunchy.

Princess Tart (lovely name):

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$7.5 a slice. Borderline tacky but with all those boring tapas we need something festive for the gays.

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Fun sign for a French chicken themed preserves stall. Made with cut out cork!

They sell lots of different chicken and goose specialties:

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No idea what this is. Not eating though, that’s for sure.

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Soup de possion de roche. Cute rural packaging. Not eating this either though.

They’re also cooking at the spot. Chicken here as well.

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LOVE the French beret.

Italian/Turkish(?) themed sweets stall:

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I tried their French nougat with cherries – sugar overload, but quite good in small bites.

They also have cake:

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Not sure how fresh or homemade it is, but the surface of the pink champagne rosé biscuit one looks deliciously marshmallowish.

Oh look it’s $37 chocolate sushi!

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You get 128g of small luxury chocolates along with two sets of hashi, raspberry sauce and small ceramic bowls for the sauce.

This completely non-adorable steel clad ice cream stall caught my eye, for all the wrong reasons.

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They sell chocolate and raspberry yougurt ice cream.

With 4 choices of toppings!

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If there ever were slutty ice cream this would be the one.

So as you can see, lots of fun walking around looking at stuff. It’s not as rustic as a French food hall, as stylish as the one in Harrods, London. Or as hippie trendy as the ones in Berkeley, California. But it’s still better than a discount chain supermarket.

Here’s to hoping it will by time grow into a less cold, less expensive place with more small local vendors doing their thing.

Map

TORVEHALLERNE
Frederiksborggade 21
1360 Copenhagen
T: 70 10 60 70

FAT MAP

8 Comments

  • Yamahomo
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Wow $5 for tofu?

  • worm
    Posted September 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Yes, I agree with you about the slutty ice cream creation. You can also take it in the other direction and say it’s rather Punky Brewster-y. Do you always order your ice cream with so many toppings?
    I think it’s interesting because the marketplace seems very similar to Japan in presentation. It’s sort of anti-Berkeley because it’s “natural and organic” but also totally sanitized and edited. Like, I could not imagine there would be any stray dirt, little fruit flies or bugs on the produce.
    And that GIANT papaya on the building is just weird…

  • Anders
    Posted September 16, 2011 at 2:35 am

    You’re absolutely right, it actually totally reminds me of the food courts below Japanse depatos. Clean, straight and expensive.

    If you lived here, we should should rent a stall and make a supercool Japanese cake & specialities store, just like the ones below Marui Depato in Shinjuku. It will be the fanciest one with all the superb packaging you get from Japanese companies and with the cutest assistants in the whole market (I’m thinking you and me in pink aprons and small sanitized paper hats).

  • yoko
    Posted September 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    This looks kind of fun, but it seems very commercialized. Your pictures are so good, a pleasure to look at.

  • Gotham Guy
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Nice report but was the homophobic remark (“… festive for the gays.”) really necessary? Why couldn’t it simply be “festive” for everyone?

    By the way, the post’s writer is really missing out not trying cassoulet. It may not look appetizing in the jar, but is perfect on a cold winter night.

  • Anders
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 4:16 am

    @Gotham Gay: Thanks for reading.

    Being gay myself (which I guess you couldn’t read off this post, I apologize for that) I always take the liberty of making fun of my own brotherhood’s clichés.

    I also think there is more room for taking a piss on yourself in Denmark/Scandinavia than fx in the States since you have a more strict agenda regarding political correctness.

    But I thank you for your support, I would probably be a little offended as well if a straightie wrote something really homophobic (although this sentence wasn’t so bad I think).

    I will take your advice regarding the cassoulet under consideration. I was just never a big fan of beans, reminds me of unborn maggots. But I should probably work on that.

  • Posted May 22, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Looking forward to visit this place this coming Sept! =)

  • Posted June 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Love the sarcasm in the post (seriously!) it made for an entertaining review of Torvehallerne. Despite the overpriced, hipster, psuedo-touristy nature of the market, the assortment and diversity of what’s available looked pretty sweet and better than anything I can get my hands on in Prague!

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