Posted on 28th December 2020
Vikings were farmers and their diet consisted mainly of livestock from their farms and produce they grew themselves, they also hunted and fished.
Their diet was not vastly different to our diet today but little is known of their eating habits. It is believed that they ate two meals a day.
Day Meal – (Dagmal)
Night Meal – (Nattmal)
On the farms Vikings kept cows, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens; pigs being the most popular because they were easy to breed.
The animals were ultimately killed and the meat eaten although some were kept for other uses as well.
Goats and cows were kept for their milk. This was churned to produce butter, cheese and buttermilk.
Chickens were kept for their eggs, although Vikings did also gather eggs from wild seabirds.
To supplement their diet Vikings also hunted animals like elk, deer and bears. They also fished in cold water lakes and the sea where salmon, trout and herring were plentiful.
Winters in Scandinavia were cold, and food had to be preserved to see them through the harsh weather.
Meat and fish were smoked, pickled, salted and dried to preserve them, vegetables and fruit were also dried.
Not all vegetables we have today were available in Viking times, but the following vegetables were grown:
Onions, leeks and cabbage
Parsnips and spinach
Beans and peas
Carrots were also grown but these were not as we know them today; in Viking times they were white.
The Vikings baked flatbread with stone ground wheat, barley, rye and oats. They also picked wild fruit berries and apples. Vikings imported nuts, however hazelnuts are believed to have grown wild.
For flavouring Vikings used seeds and plants such as:
Wild honey was their only form of sweetener.
The main drink in Viking times was ale, but not as we think of ale today. It was a weak drink made of fermented barley and flavoured, drank by the whole family.
They also drank mead, a fermented drink sweetened with honey, but as expensive to make, it was only drunk on special occasions and feasts.
Wealthy Vikings would sometimes drink wine, but this was expensive to purchase so again only drank at feasts.
Tagged as: Junior The Vikings
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