Saturday I visited MoMu (Moesgaard Museum) with my boyfriend who had yet to see the museum. I of course visited the museum shop and picked up a viking cookbook, that I was yet to own (Bålmad for moderne vikinger). It had a lot of great information along with quite a few interesting recipes. It also had an introduction where it among other things talked about which food were available in the viking age. It wasn’t quite sure about some of the items, which sparked me to research some more. I decided to make a list of food stuff that was available to the vikings at home and something might have encountered on their travels and possibly imported. I also decided to make a list of food stuff that they definitely didn’t have.
Browsing the web, especially on pinterest I sometimes come across some medieval and viking recipes, for reenactment events or markets no less, that makes me groan. This isn’t about perfect authenticity, but it is about presenting something that is plausible – especially when cooking for the public.
In my little project to make a list of what the vikings might have eaten, I thought it might be a good idea to make a list of food that is definitely no-go for viking and early medieval events. The food on this list was either not invented till much much later OR is food stuff only found in the Americas and that the Europeans wouldn’t know till after Columbus – like turkey.
Bailey was the most common grain in the viking age (in Scandinavia). The Danish word for barley; “byg”- means grown grains. The archaeologists think that barley crackers flour have been common. Most bread was baked on a hot stone next to the fire – it seems likely that they would make barley crackers as well as flat breads.