Forget about fat scarring. The Vikings needed all the energy in the form of fat they could have – not least in the winter. The menu card contained meat, fish, vegetables, cereals and dairy products. Sweet stuff was taken in the form of berries, fruits and honey – so it was not the hidden fat and the sugar that gave the Vikings trouble. And yet … The vikings became in England often called the prodigies. They drank and ate simply too much after the English people’s view.
Today, our food culture is characterized by globalization, where raw materials from all over the world can be purchased all year round. In the Viking era, however, households should be planned and adapted to the seasons. The typical Viking was self-sufficient. It was the farmer who had his livestock and crops on the ground. However, there were also people who did not produce all their food themselves, but instead bought “take-away”. It could be the smith or fisherman who got his need for food covered by shopping or changing the local market.
Written sources tell about food
The historical texts that give us knowledge about the food the Vikings ate is typically a little later than the Viking Age. Therefore, be careful about this information. Far better sources of illumination of the Viking kitchen, planting plants and bones have been found at archaeological excavations in storage depots, post holes, fireplaces and wastes.
A typical Viking meal
In the case of Harbard and Tor, a typical Viking meal is described. Tor tries to persuade Harbard-Odin’s father-in-law to disguised him: move me over the strait, I’ll feed you tomorrow! I have a basket on my back, never the food was better. I ate at home peacefully before I feed, herring and oats, so I’m still fed up.
The right viking food of course needed the right beer or mjød – read about what the vikings drank and their drinking habits here.