The truth about Danish butter cookies

You see them everywhere in Hong Kong. Danish Butter Cookies. It’s what many Hong Kongers would describe as traditional Danish. Well, it used to be.

Butter cookies might be a big deal in Hong Kong, but in its country of origin no one gives the small cookies a thought. The only one I know who does is my grandmother.

Every now and then when I pay her a visit, the coffee table is set with porcelain from Royal Copenhagen and a platter of butter cookies. She is the only one I know, who insist on serving them. Homemade of course.

I like my Grandmother alot and I respect her for keeping the tradition of butter cookies alive, but I find it ironic, that a Danish tradition is bigger in Hong Kong than in Denmark.

In 2011 the company behind the cookies sold tins for nearly HK$ 1.1 billion and a big part of that come from the Chineese market.

A commercial about a guy who takes of for the Danish capital of Copenhagen to walk in his fathers foot steps and find the shop where the cookies are made, is suppose to made the income from the Chineese population even bigger.

Well, the commercial shows Copenhagen from its best side. Traditional, idyllic – almost like a fairytale.The guy find the shop and bring home the cookies for his family.

The only issue here is just, that the shop doesn’t exist in reality and that danes might not appreciate the cookies as much as the family in the commercial. But hey, it’s a commercial, they wanna sell cookies – and what does that better than a fairytale?

The ‘real’ story of danish butter cookies

Marius Kjeldsen and wife Anna Kjeldsen (C) Kelsen Group

The real story of Kjeldsen’s Danish Butter Cookies began in 1933, in a small Danish village in Jutland (not a cookie shop in Copenhagen), when Marinus Kjeldsen fell in love with a baker’s daughter who was known for her delicious cookies.

Kjeldsen began selling these cookies to neighbouring villages, where the wonderful buttery treats soon caught on and spread throughout the country, leading to the opening of their first commercial bakery .

70 years later, Kjeldsens has developed into one of the world’s largest cookie producers today.

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