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Danish Ribs



Danish Ribs is a rack of pork ribs cut about 12 1/2 cm (5 inches) wide by 40 cm (16 inches) long. It has 13 ribs on it, instead of the 12 that is more usual in North America. A rack of Danish Ribs will weigh 450 to 700g (1 to 1 1/2 pounds.)

Though the ribs come from Denmark, there is no such thing actually in Denmark called "Danish Ribs." What North Americans know as Danish Ribs came about because meat packers in Denmark had the meat cut leftover after making Danish Ham, and decided to market the cut in America. They are less expensive than many other rib cuts.

They are served in chains throughout America such as TGI Friday's and Chili's. The restaurants say Danish ribs are more tender. They are also sold frozen and uncooked in American supermarkets, often in 4 1/2 kg (10 pound) boxes, with 5 to 6 slabs per box.

Detractors say there is hardly any meat on the ribs, and that the ribs have lots of "shiners" (bones with no meat.) They also say that they find the ribs can have a "funky" flavour, and a smell that is at times fishy or piggy.

Good pork ribs in Denmark are likely to come from a hog breed called "Land Race."

History Notes

Import of Danish Ribs was banned in 2001 during a general American ban on European meats owing to hoof-and-mouth disease fears.


Some say the style of cut actually originated in Sweden.

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"Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment."

-- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (French food writer. 1 April 1755 - 2 February 1826)

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