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What is the Vikings diet?

an introduction
brief history
a balanced diet
External factors
What grew during the Viking Age?
Historical Reflection
Meat
fermented meat
vegetables
A diet lost in time
references
in-depth reading


The Viking diet became popular with many people, and in some areas, they corrected the statistics of heart attacks and dementia for the better.

Scientists have studied one of the most popular diets of the 21st century, and some have concluded that it is time for Mediterranean cuisine to make way on the basis of a healthy diet.

Image Credit: David Bimborough/Shutterstock

brief history

In 1960, the region of Northern Karelia in Finland had the largest number of people with cardiovascular diseases. After 12 years, specialists from the Finnish Institute of Nutrition developed a program for the improvement of the nation and called it “North Karelia”.

In 2012, it turned out that the death rate from heart attacks and strokes in Finland fell eight times. It was this program that later became known as the Vikings Diet.

The goal of the North Karelia Program was to reduce animal fats in the diet of Finns and to increase vegetable fats. First, the fields of Finland were sown with rapeseed. Rapeseed oil was the main source of vegetable fat. =

a balanced diet

The Vikings had a varied and rich diet of wild and local meat, fruits, crops, poultry, fish, and other foods that they could grow, harvest, or hunt. Therefore, it is not surprising that their diet is much better and more varied than in other parts of medieval Europe.

However, studies of the contents of ancient sinks and basins have shown that the Vikings often suffered from intestinal worms and other parasites. For unknown reasons, poisonous weeds were found in their stomachs.

External factors

The Scandinavian climate, lifestyle and long periods of isolation contributed greatly to the Vikings diet. There was always a long, dark and cold winter. Survival in the winter depends mainly on the food supply that is provided during the short and warmer growing seasons.

What grew during the Viking Age?

Barley was the most important cultivated crop. Wheat, rye, and buckwheat were also among the cultivated plants. Grains in the Viking Age looked a little different than they do now – they had more stems and less grain themselves.

Cereals have grown well and are a product that can be efficiently stored for the winter. It is not difficult to see – it is easy to prove that the Vikings used grain (or flour made from it) in most dishes: in porridge, in stews, as a side dish for meat, and in bread.

Image Credit: Igor Shushin / Shutterstock

Image Credit: Igor Shushin / Shutterstock

Historical Reflection

Here is an excerpt from the epic of Egils Skallagrimssonar (the famous Viking poet):

Skallagrim was also a good carpenter. To the west of Murar, he built another farm in Al-Fatinas, his people went hunting, hunting, collecting eggs of wild birds, and a lot of other delicious things.

Often the whales were stuck near the shore, and it was easy to shoot them, since they and other animals rarely saw people and were not afraid of them.

There were also some offshore islands where whales were washed, so they called them whale islands. The inhabitants of Skalagrim went up into the rivers in search of salmon, and many of them settled on the banks of the Gilgofort and were engaged in fishing. ”

Meat

Meat from shore whales formed an important part of the Vikings diet. Scientists examined ancient and fossilized trash heaps to determine what animal bones they contained while re-reading the epics and edas to determine the cooking habits of these people.

It turns out that the Vikings did not fry the meat, but boiled it. In low latitudes, they ate the meat of pigs, goats, sheep, horses and other livestock. Most often, cows were bred for meat and milk.

fermented meat

Meat fermentation may seem strange, but for some traditional Scandinavian products, the technology invented by the Vikings is still used in modern times. In Iceland, this is fermented shark and surströmming (fermented herring) in northern Sweden.

Hakarl is considered a terrible food by those who are not new to the mysteries of Norwegian gourmet food. The shark itself is poisonous and can only be eaten after elaborate processing. The shark is placed in a small hole covered with sand and gravel. Stones are placed on top, where they are pressed so that the liquid comes out of the shark.

Read next: What is a DNA Diet?

vegetables

Vegetables were also grown locally. The comrades planted green peas, kidney beans (beans), garlic, angelica, hops, parsnip, and carrots. The eggs, milk, meat, and fat used in daily cooking were obtained from birds and livestock, the same species that are raised today.

They were only smaller – well, the movement of young Mikurans among the Vikings did not flourish. Pet meat was not included in the daily diet, so fish, eggs, poultry and game were welcomed as a pleasant addition to porridge.

A diet lost in time

Although detailed “Viking recipes” or “Viking diet” have not survived to this day, there are books that can help with this. One of them (translated by Mark Grant) is Antimus’ book Keeping the Laws of the Kitchen.

references

  • Rob Hincks, “Swedish simla: more than just a cake Archived 06-06-2011 at the Wayback Machine.” , Retrieved on 17.09.2022
  • D’Amato, Raphael (2010). Varangian guard. Osprey Publishing.
  • Brink, Stefan (2008). Who are the Vikings? In Brink, Stefan; Price, Neal, eds. The world of the Vikings.
  • Hall, Richard Andrew (2007). The world of the Vikings. Thames and Hudson.

in-depth reading

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