Viking Foods 1 – The Day Begins by Rob Shackleford
Check out these other Viking Blogs:
|Vikings at Home|
Bread and porridge in the Viking Age
Rye bread is often regarded as being especially Danish. But what did everyday bread taste like in the Viking period? The most important cereals were rye and barley. In addition, oats, millet and wheat were cultivated. Apart from bread, cereals were also used to make porridge and beer.
Rye, in particular, was used for making sour-dough bread – a coarse bread, quite similar to today’s Danish rye bread. At this time wheat was a rare cereal crop and a luxury product preserved for the rich.
Flat breads were also baked. These small breads were made of flour, eggs and water. The rare addition of honey made the breads tastier. They were baked in a pan or grilled over the fire. It was not until the end of the Viking period that ovens were widely used in the household.
The Vikings had several options, when it came to making porridge. It could be made from barley, oats, buckwheat or millet. They mixed berries and apples into the porridge to add sweetness. Porridge was typically part of the daily food intake, especially that of the poor.
Vikings didn’t eat with forks – instead, they dined with spoons, knives, and their fingers. The knives they used for eating were multipurpose – they were also used for grooming, hunting, fighting, and numerous other tasks.
Spoons were often made out of wood, as were bowls. Like grooming utensils, Vikings kept their spoons and knives close. Sometimes they were fastened to belts, but they may have been worn on a chain or strap around the neck, as well.
Here are a few Viking Recipes to try:
Find out more
Viking Life by John Guy and Richard Hall (Ticktock, 1998)
Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age by John Haywood (Thames &Hudson, 2000)
Cultural Atlas of the Viking Age edited by Graham-Campbell et al (Andromeda, 1994)
Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings by John Haywood (Penguin, 1996). Detailed maps of Viking settlements in Scotland, Ireland, England, Iceland and Normandy.
About the author:
Hi, I’m Rob Shackleford. I am author of a number of novels, though so far only Traveller Inceptio and Traveller Probo have been officially published. As Traveller Inceptio looks at the fates of modern historical researchers sent to the early 11th Century Saxon world, Vikings do feature.
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