Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arken Museum

At ARKEN you can experience modern art, contemporary art and striking architecture which alone merits a visit.

At the moment you can see the exhibitions CHINAMANIA, UTOPIA: Qiu Anxiong and ARKEN’s Collection of contemporary art, including a unique Damien Hirst room.

In the shop you can borrow an IPod and hear about the art. You may also enjoy the view of Køge Bay from the café, or buy exclusive Danish design in our shop.

The lessees of ARKEN Café, “The Café at ARKEN” represented by Frank and Trine Lantz, have filed for bankruptcy and so ceased running the museum’s café. Therefore ARKEN Café is closed over the summer, and unfortunately ARKEN is unable to offer food and drink in connection with museum visits. Fortunately there are many other opportunities to eat and drink near the museum. In Ishøj Havn there are several places to eat in varying price ranges, and by the beach there are ice cream stalls. It is also possible to barbecue in Strandparken. Take the opportunity to discover the area around ARKEN.
Read more and see a guide to eateries near ARKEN here
by Vineeta:D

Butter cookie

Butter cookies (or Butter biscuits), known as Brysslkex, sablès and Danish biscuits, are unleavened cookies consisting of butter, flour and sugar. They are often categorized as a "crisp cookie" due to their texture, caused in part because of the quantity of butter and sugar. It is generally necessary to chill the dough to enable proper manipulation and handling. Butter cookies at their most basic have no flavoring, but they are often flavored with vanilla, chocolate, and coconut, and/or topped with sugar crystals. They also come in a variety of shapes such as circles, squares, ovals, rings, and pretzel-like forms, and with a variety of appearances, including marbled, checkered or plain. In some parts of the world such as European countries and North America these are often served around Christmas time.


Teewurst is a German sausage made from two parts of raw pork (and sometimes beef) and one part bacon, which are minced, seasoned and packed in casings (mostly porous artificial casings) before being smoked over beech wood. The sausage then has to mature for seven to ten days in order to develop its typical taste. Teewurst contains 30 to 40 percent fat, which makes it particularly easy to spread.

Teewurst was invented in Pomerania, probably in the small Baltic town of Rügenwalde (now Darłowo in Poland), in the middle of the 19th century. The name, which means tea sausage, is said to derive from the habit of serving sandwiches at teatime.
Up to 1945, the sausage industry in Rügenwalde was well established, and Teewurst was its best-known product. In 1927, the term Rügenwalder Teewurst was declared a Protected designation of origin. After World War II, sausage makers from Rügenwalde fled to the Federal Republic of Germany, where they established new companies and resumed the production of Teewurst. They established an association of former Rügenwald sausage makers, which registered the trademark Rügenwalder Teewurst in 1957.

Today, only companies that once had their headquarters in Rügenwalde are allowed to use the term Rügenwalder Teewurst. All others use the terms Teewurst or Rügenwalde-style Teewurst.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Nazi Germany

Nazism, officially National Socialism[1][2][3][4] (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers to the ideology and practices of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party under Adolf Hitler, and the policies adopted by the dictatorial government of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.[5][6][7][


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Bavarian palace on a rugged hill near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. Although public photography of the interior is not permitted, it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

Ludwig did not allow visitors to his castles, but after his death in 1886 the castle was opened to the public (in part due to the need to pay off the debts Ludwig incurred financing its construction).[citation needed] Since that time over 50 million people have visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. About 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared in several movies, and was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle at both Disneyland Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.

The palace is owned by the state of Bavaria, unlike nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, which is owned by the head of the house of Wittelsbach, currently Franz, Duke of Bavaria. The Free State of Bavaria has spent more than €14.5 million on Neuschwanstein's maintenance, renovation and visitor services since 1990.

Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen, Denmark

You know you're in Copenhagen when you see the Little Mermaid, a signature of the city. This famous symbol of Copenhagen sits close to the shore of Langelinie on her granite bolder, gazing towards the Copenhagen harbor entrance from the sound. It is about a 10 minute walk from the Langelinie Cruise Ship Pier, which is directly north of the Little Mermaid. If you wish to walk to see this life-sized lady, keep the water to your left as you leave the ship. Continue along the harbor and follow the signs. Shore excursions usually include a short stop at the Little Mermaid at the beginning or end of the tour.

The statue was created by the sculptor Edward Eriksen and was presented to the City of Copenhagen in 1913 by the famous brewer of Carlsberg beer, Carl Jacobsen. Although many think the statue is a symbol of the old seaport, the inspiration was Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid."(wrote in 1837) In 1909 the founder of Carlsberg Breweries, who was fascinated by the story, had the statue built.On April 23, 1964, vandals decapitated the Little Mermaid and her original head was never found. A new head was made from the original cast. Most visitors to Copenhagen have their pictures made next to the Little Mermaid.

At less than five feet tall, the statue is much smaller than most people expect, and she sits on a rock near the shore, not in the middle of the harbor.

The Little Mermaid statue has sat on her boulder since August 23, 1913, but has had a very turbulent life, with at least eight vandalism attacks. She has been dowsed in paint numerous times, had her right arm amputated, been decapitated three times, and even pushed from her rock in 2003. Fortunately, the sculptor made a mold, so the Little Mermaid's "parts" have been reattached from the original mold.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Christiansborg Palace

Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, is the seat of the Folketing (the Danish parliament), the Danish Prime Minister's Office and the Danish Supreme Court. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the palace chapel and the royal stables.
The palace is thus the house of Denmark's three supreme powers: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power. It is the only building in the world which is the home of all a nation's three supreme powers. Christiansborg Palace is owned by the Danish state, and is run by the Palaces and Properties Agency.
The present building is the last in a series of succesive castles and palaces constructed in the same site since the erection of the first castle in 1167. Since the early fifteenth century, the various buildings have served as the base of the central administration; until 1794 as the principal residence of the Danish kings and after 1849 as the seat of parliament.
The palace today bears witness to three eras of Danish architecture, as the result of two serious fires. The first fire occurred in 1794 and the second in 1884. The main part of the current palace, finished in 1928, is in the historicist Neo-baroque style. The chapel dates to 1826 and is in a neoclassical style. The showgrounds were built 1738-46, in a baroque style.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Italy Fast Facts

Italy Fast Facts:

Population: 58,742,000

Capital and Population Rome: 2,628,000

Area: 301,333 square kilometers(116,345 square miles)

Language: Italian, German, French, Slovene

Religion: Roman Catholic

Currency: euro

Life Expectancy: 80

GDP Per Capita U.S: $25,100

Literacy Percent: 99
---Teacher Karl

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Italian wine

Italian wine is wine produced in Italy, a country which is home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Etruscans and Greek settlers produced wine in the country long before the Romans started developing their own vineyards in the second century BC. Roman grape-growing and winemaking was prolific and well-organized, pioneering large-scale production and storage techniques like barrel-making and bottling. Two thousand years later, Italy remains one of the world's foremost producers, responsible for approximately one-fifth of world wine production in 2005.
Wine is a popular drink in Italy. Grapes are grown in almost every part of Italy, with more than 1 million vineyards under cultivation. In some places the vines are trained along low supports. In others they climb as slender saplings.
Most wine-making in Italy is done in modern wineries. However, villagers who make wine for their own use sometimes still tread the grapes with their bare feet, until the juice is squeezed out. They believe this ancient method still makes the best wine.
cathy / from

Architecture of Italy

Italy is justly renowned for many centuries and styles of stunning architecture. The style of architecture known as Italian was first developed by Filippo Bruneschelli, and flourished during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries; it was an assimilation of classical circular-arch form to modern requirements. In Rome it conformed most to ancient types; in Venice it assumed its most graceful form. It was more suitable to domestic than to ecclesiastical work; but the dome is an impressive feature, and St. Peter's a noble church. The architecture was synonymous with churches. A civil history, a political history, and a history of ideas are juxtaposed with a history of architecture. Italian Renaissance architects based their theories and practices on Classical Roman examples. The Renaissance revival of Classical Rome was as eminent in architecture as it was in literature. A pilgrimage to Rome to study the ancient buildings and ruins, especially the Colosseum and Pantheon, was considered essential to an architect's training. Classical orders and architectural elements such as columns, pilasters, pediments, entablatures, arches, and domes form the vocabulary of Renaissance buildings.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

History of Pasta

Nothing says Italy like its food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta. Wherever Italians have immigrated they have brought their pasta and so today it is basically an international staple. Unlike other ubiquitous Italian foods like Pizza and tomato sauce, which have a fairly recent history pasta may indeed have a much older pedigree going back hundreds if not thousands of years. To begin to unravel the long an often complex world of pasta we have to look at its origins and some of the myths surrounding this now worldwide food.
Many schoolchildren were taught that the Venetian merchant Marco Polo brought back pasta from his journeys in China. Another version states that Polo discovery was actually a rediscovery of a foodstuff that was once popular in Italy in Etruscan and Roman times. Well Marco Polo might have done amazing things on his journey but bringing pasta to Italy was not one of them, it was already there in Polo's time. There is some evidence of an Etrusco-Roman noodle made from the same durum wheat as modern pasta called "lagane" (origin of the modern word for lasagna). However this food, first mentioned in the 1st century AD was not boiled like pasta, it was cooked in an oven. Therefore ancient lagane had some similarities, but cannot be considered pasta. The next culinary leap in the history of pasta would take place a few centuries later.

Like so much of southern Italian life, the Arab invasions of the 8th century heavily influenced the regional cuisine and is the most accepted theory for the introduction of pasta. The dried noodle-like product they introduced to Sicily is most likely the origins of dried pasta and was being produced in great quantities in Palermo at this time. The modern word "macaroni" derives from the Sicilian term for making dough forcefully, as early pasta making was often a laborious daylong process. How it was served is not truly known but many Sicilian pasta recipes still include other Arab gastronomic introductions such as raisins and spices like cinnamon. This early pasta was an ideal staple for Sicily and it easily spread to the mainland since durum wheat thrives in Italy's climate. Italy is still a major producer of this hard wheat, used to make the all-important semolina flour.
By the 1300's dried pasta was very popular for its nutrition and long shelf life, making it ideal for long ship voyages. Pasta made it around the globe during the voyages of discovery a century later. By that time different shapes of pasta have appeared and new technology made pasta easier to make. With these innovations pasta truly became a part of Italian life. However the next big advancement in the history of pasta would not come until the 19th century when pasta met tomatoes.
Although tomatoes were brought back to Europe shortly after their discovery in the New World, it took a long time for the plant to be considered edible. In fact tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family and rumors of tomatoes being poisonous continued in parts of Europe and its colonies until the mid 19th century. Therefore it was not until 1839 that the first pasta recipe with tomatoes was documented. However shortly thereafter tomatoes took hold, especially in the south of Italy. The rest of course is delicious history.
Spaghetti (at the time called macaroni) drying in the street of Naples circa 1895
Pasta Today

It is estimated that Italians eat over sixty pounds of pasta per person, per year easily beating Americans, who eat about twenty pounds per person. This love of pasta in Italy far outstrips the large durum wheat production of the country; therefore Italy must import most of the wheat it uses for pasta. Today pasta is everywhere and can be found in dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca) varieties depending on what the recipes call for. The main problem with pasta today is the use of mass production to fill a huge worldwide demand. And while pasta is made everywhere the product from Italy keeps to time-tested production methods that create a superior pasta.
Dried Pasta
There are roughly 350 different shapes and varieties of dried pasta in Italy, even more counting regional differences. Shapes range from simple tubes to bow ties (farfalle, which actually means "butterfly"), to unique shapes like tennis rackets (racchette). Many, but not all of these types are usually available wherever pasta is made. By Italian law dried pasta must be made with 100% durum semolina flour and water, a practice that all but the worst quality pasta makers worldwide have since adhered to. However there are two factors in dried pasta from Italy that make it typically better than most other products: extrusion and drying methods.
Dried pasta, especially the more complex shapes (such as radiatore) are designed for grabbing and holding onto sauces. Dried tube pasta (ziti or penne) often has ridges or slight abrasions on the surface to hold onto the pasta sauce as well. These ridges and bumps are created during the extrusion process, when the pasta is forced from a copper mold and cut to desired length before drying. These molds, while expensive and prone to wear are favored for making the best dried pasta. However most producers worldwide use steel molds that produce pasta that is too smooth to hold onto sauce. Fortunately more pasta makers outside of Italy are starting to use the older style copper molds.
After the pasta is cut it must be dried using a process of specific temperature and time. This is another area where mass produced pasta falls short of good Italian pasta made the correct way. The mass produced pastas are dried at very high temperatures for a shorter time than quality pasta. Traditional pasta is allowed to dry slower, up to 50 hours at a much lower temperature. It is after the pasta is fully dried that it is packaged. The result is a product with a much better mouth-feel, quicker cooking time, and superior sauce holding noodles.
Fresh Pasta
Essentially all pasta starts out as fresh pasta but some is made to be eaten "soft". Fresh pasta can be made with slightly different ingredients than the dried variety. Many northern regions of Italy use all-purpose flour and eggs while southern Italy usually makes theirs from semolina and water but it depends upon the recipe. Serving pasta that is made fresh that day shows a great deal of care in preparation and a high level of pride in the household's culinary skills. However fresh pasta is not inherently better than dried pasta, it is just different and is used in different situations. Some types of pasta are served only fresh, others only dried and some others can have fresh and dried versions. It is in this case that it can be argued that fresh is better than dried pasta. Fresh pasta has been made in households throughout Italy for generations but the region of Emilia-Romagna has the reputation of making the best. Here fresh pasta is often served with cream sauces or a simple sauce of butter and sage while light tomato sauces are reserved for the summer months. Following the simple but important rule of using fresh local ingredients, the Piedmontese serve their fresh pasta with a butter sauce covered with slices of decadent local black truffles. Wherever you are in Italy, being served fresh homemade pasta is a real treat as you can be assured that the pasta was made that day and will have a taste that will make you rethink notions of what good pasta is.
Buying and Cooking Pasta
When buying either fresh or dried pasta, look for a well made brand that uses the best ingredients such as only semolina flour for dried pasta. The pasta should have a rough surface and not too smooth, as smooth pasta will not hold onto sauce. The noodles should be compact and heavy for their size in order to stay together when cooking. Remember to stay away from mass-produced cheap pasta, you will just be disappointed come dinnertime. For fresh pasta look for the expiration date on the package and take a good look at the pasta. If it looks cheap then it probably is, if the pasta feels heavy in the package and has a nice color and texture it is worth buying. Many Italian bakeries and grocerias also make fresh pasta that will be better than anything you could find at a supermarket and you may even get a family sauce recipe as well. However remember not to overcook your pasta, the worlds greatest sauce cannot save mushy pasta.
It cannot be stressed enough; cook pasta until it is al dente, firm to the teeth yet tender. Many Americans cook pasta until it is too soft, a minute or two less of cooking time will give you authentic Italian pasta. Fresh pasta will take even less time to be cooked to perfection. Another key to perfect pasta is to use a large cooking pot and plenty of water; this will stop the pasta from sticking and will also ensure every inch of pasta will be cooked though. Don't forget to add plenty of salt to the cooking water before adding the pasta, good pasta is almost never has salt in it so this is the only time it can be seasoned. Some people add a little olive oil to the cooking water to stop the pasta from sticking and while that works for larger pasta like lasagna it is not necessary if you use a large pot, plenty of water and remember to stir the pasta. When draining the pasta remember to save about a cup of the water in the pot, this starchy water will add a little body to whatever sauce you choose. Never, ever rinse off the pasta after cooking unless you're making pasta salad. Washing off all that starch and salt will kill any flavor your pasta once had.
When it comes to sauce it is really up to personal preference unless you are trying to follow a traditional recipe. A good rule is to remember simple pasta works best with simple sauces while complex shaped pastas are ideal for thicker sauces. There is no shortage of great pasta and sauce combinations and each is worth trying. However it is important that you use high quality pasta cooked properly to ensure authentic flavor.

by Vineeta :D