The best thing about living in Los Angeles is exploring the areas around it. Just head a few hours south and you find yourself on the beaches of San Diego. Head two hours east and you end up in Palm Springs. And when you head a couple hours north, you end up in a quaint Danish town called Solvang. The town is something out of a storybook – half-timber construction shops, cobblestone streets, mom and pop shops. Oh! And a couple windmills to boot.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why did a group of Danes set up shop in the San Ynez Valley?” The Elverhøj Museum says it began as a dream for three Danish immigrants who wanted to create a Danish colony – a church, school, and community – where Danish culture would thrive. 100 years later, Solvang still exists. By the way, Solvang means sunny field.
For me, I associate Solvang with bakeries… more specfically, the baked good I associate with Solvang are the apple turnovers.
The puffed crust is flakey and topped with granulated sugar. The center of the pastry is filled with sweet (but not overly sweet) apples. The first bite is the best because the flakes fall like confetti all over the plate. I stopped in at Mortensen’s Danish Bakery for my pastry fix.
One of the famous pastries that tourists stop for is at Solvang Restaurant. And like the sign says below – it’s the home of the famous Aebleskiver.
Aebleskivers are something between a pancake, popover, and donuts rolled into one. Some may actually call it the Danish pancake. You can sit inside and order up food and the Aebleskivers on the side or you can wait outside and get an order to go.
Aebleskivers get the round form because of a special pan that the batter is poured into. Once it’s all cooked, it looks look a pancake ball.
And here’s the photo you’ve been waiting for…. the Aebleskiver in it’s finished form. The doughy goodness is covered with a raspberry jam and powdered sugar. Tip: The key is to eat it while it’s hot while you’re walking down the streets of Solvang.
Stay tuned for part two of my trip where I tell you about my adventures at Ostrichland!