Den Gamle Fabrik
A popular marmelade from Denmark.
In 1834, 175 years ago, there was an amazing place in Strøget, Copenhagen. The place was called The Strawberry Cellar and attracted the most demanding Copenhageners out to buy fruit and berries of legendary quality. In connection with the sales outlet, there was a summer restaurant where the menu tempts with coffee, tea, homemade ice-cream, fruit desserts and cakes. It is at this exciting location that the history of Den Gamle Fabrik has its origin.
In 1922, the summer restaurant became a year-round restaurant, where the customers were able to enjoy various homemade fruit purées and creams. Soon a marmalade factory was set up and the business really began to take shape. The marmalade was made with the greatest care in large open pots and the female cooks stirred by hand in order to achieve a first-class result. The finished marmalade was then poured into small glass jars with brown and white labels.
“The small glass jars with their brown and white labels are unmistakable”
In 1979, the Den Gamle Fabrik brand began to be used for the marmalade products. Today’s factory is in Svinninge in north-west Jutland and the plant has been used since 1998. Each marmalade cooking pot contains 750 kilos of marmalade and 36 such pots are made in one day. The marmalade is made exactly as before in open pots, without boiling, in order to retain the character of the fine raw materials. In addition, the open pots allow the cooks to work close to the product. A fingertip sensitivity for consistency and quality takes a long time to build up. Even the recipe is the same as ever, originating from the strawberry cellar’s quite unique character and atmosphere. At the factory’s store, oranges, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, black grapes, figs and cherries are pressed into large cases.
The use of whole, clean berries is very important and the employment of fruit juice is minimal. Even though the production is large-scale, there is not much difference between today’s production with that of yesteryear. Tradition and quality are, and always have been, the most important aspects of production and there are no short cuts.