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Authentic Viking Food


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I figured I should make a one pot stove top stew with only the stuff in the picture. I did, and was not very good. It was gray and gooey and lacked pizazz.

It sounds very authentic, though, for Viking c.700. Was that what you were trying to do?

I was trying to create a simple hearty hot dish that could be served to people at a party. I was envisioning stew shooters (stewters?) in shot glasses that could be belted back with one hand while standing up talking with guests. The meaty bits need to be appropriately smaller and there must be greater visual appeal, to say the least. I need flecks of color and a sharper taste, the "one pot prep" is not nearly as important as the "happy eaters".

In retrospect, I was kinda lazy and half expected something magical to happen when I arranged the ingredients in a primal circle. It's important to do a test run.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Can you get whole/pearl spelt rather then the rolled type? If the process is anything like with oats they will have been steamed and then squashed, which means they turn mushy very quickly. The whole variety remains intact much better and you end up with a texture closer to risotto. A basic dish of this flavored with cheese/butter herbs served with a mutton stew would be good.

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Can you get whole/pearl spelt rather then the rolled type? If the process is anything like with oats they will have been steamed and then squashed, which means they turn mushy very quickly. The whole variety remains intact much better and you end up with a texture closer to risotto. A basic dish of this flavored with cheese/butter herbs served with a mutton stew would be good.

Good idea -- back to the Bulk Barn where I can buy as little or as much as I want. Very handy for grain experiments.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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It sounds like the stew was gooey from the grain that was added into it. Adam Balic has the right idea, serve the grain on the side.

That leaves the meat, bones, salt, and onions as your stew ingredients. To maximize flavor (and also to avoid that gray boiled meat look), brown the meat well on all sides, remove from the pan, then slowly cook the onions over medium-low heat until they are lightly golden and caramelized. Put the meat on top of the onions, add some stock (some white wine would be good, too), a little salt, and braise until tender. Adjust for salt at the end of cooking. The stew may also need a little acid at the end (vinegar, lemon juice, mustard) to balance the fattiness of the meat.

I've cooked a simple pork stew like this with only pork, onions, stock, white wine, S&P, and it was amazingly good.

I'm not sure dill seed would taste good in this stew. You could stir in sauteed mushrooms at the end, along with a little sour cream (don't let the stew boil after you add this ingredient), and some freshly chopped dill fronds. That combination would taste good with beef.

let us know how your experiments proceed!

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It sounds like the stew was gooey from the grain that was added into it. Adam Balic has the right idea, serve the grain on the side.

That leaves the meat, bones, salt, and onions as your stew ingredients. To maximize flavor (and also to avoid that gray boiled meat look), brown the meat well on all sides, remove from the pan, then slowly cook the onions over medium-low heat until they are lightly golden and caramelized. Put the meat on top of the onions, add some stock (some white wine would be good, too), a little salt, and braise until tender. Adjust for salt at the end of cooking. The stew may also need a little acid at the end (vinegar, lemon juice, mustard) to balance the fattiness of the meat.

One pot stews are a nice and easy idea but not all ingredients behave the same under long times at low temps. The mutton was delicious once browned but still pink on the inside. After 10 minutes in the pot, it became well done and quite chewy. An hour later it was back to being very palatable and soft. Same goes for beef and pork -- basic stew theory.

If I'm at a cocktail party enjoying Viking style nibbles, I don't really care how many pots were used -- only how good it tastes. You're right to keep the players apart so they can all reach their flavor-texture zenith as they are go in the mouth.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 2 weeks later...

The trailer looks awesome. I like a good adventure/action/sci-fi flick. Must have been a blast to participate.

John Gardner's Grendel, (Beowulf from the monster's point of view) tells of finding firesnakes in a cave. Tasty!

My vote is for salted cod and firesnakes.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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  • 4 weeks later...
The trailer looks awesome.  I like a good adventure/action/sci-fi flick.  Must have been a blast to participate.

It was a blast, and I'm determined to make some appropriate and delicious food for the gang. The film's distribution company is not telling us when to expect a North American debut, so date and venue are unconfirmed. The rumor is it might even be, gulp, a straight to DVD affair. Whatever happens, we'll watch and eat.

Some photos to establish tone for the food -- I'm in the first and last:

gallery_42214_5579_6669.jpggallery_42214_5579_10371.jpggallery_42214_5579_57243.jpggallery_42214_5579_16718.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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So what do you know guys about Polish and Ukranians accompanying viking to early exploration of North America?

What about their inputs into foods. Are siliotky just cold pressed fresh fish with salt?

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So what do you know guys about Polish and Ukranians accompanying viking to early exploration of North America?

What about their inputs into foods. Are siliotky just cold pressed fresh fish with salt?

Whoever may have come over with the Vikings a thousand years ago either perished or left, along with their food traditions.

All the great Polish and Ukrainian food that's here now came much, much later.

What's siliotky?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 1 month later...

Finally, the date has been set for the 23rd of January. Limited North American release.

On that Friday, I'll have 30 confirmed snacker/drinkers before the 7:30 show. Another guy has the bar -- it'll be tea, coffee, mead and very strong Danish beer.

I've got dibs on a crude (but foodsafe) iron cauldron to be used for the stew. I can also get giant turkey wings and drums, which could make for some oversized (and therefore amusing) finger foods.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Forget the beer, you must have MEAD! Unless you have a local source for good commercial mead, get thee to a homebrew club where I'm sure you will find many mead makers.

Bob R in OKC

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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I've got dibs on a crude (but foodsafe) iron cauldron to be used for the stew. I can also get giant turkey wings and drums, which could make for some oversized (and therefore amusing) finger foods.

Turkey is actually not your best call - they originated in america & weren't known in Europe till after Columbus. Ale is fine however if you prefer it to mead.

For some good info check here.

The last Viking themed meal I did was based on this verse of a saga:

Early it was        to evening come,

And forth was borne        the ale for the giants;

Thor alone ate a whole ox,                and eight salmon,

All the sweet dainties        that were set for the women;

And drank Sif's mate        three tuns of mead.

We served:

Fresh home-made Cheese

home-made bread from a mix of wheat and barley flours

"Roasted Ox" (Beef roasted with carrots, celery and onions)

Honey Mustard Sauce

Poached Salmon

Norse Porridge - made from barley, fresh peas & milk (really good!)

Dried-fruit custard tart

Home-grown Apple-sauce

and Mock Mead (a spiced honey drink) because it was a "dry" site :sad:

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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The last Viking themed meal I did was based on this verse of a saga:

Early it was        to evening come,

And forth was borne        the ale for the giants;

Thor alone ate a whole ox,                 and eight salmon,

All the sweet dainties        that were set for the women;

And drank Sif's mate        three tuns of mead.

We served:

Fresh home-made Cheese

home-made bread from a mix of wheat and barley flours

"Roasted Ox" (Beef roasted with carrots, celery and onions)

Honey Mustard Sauce

Poached Salmon

Norse Porridge - made from barley, fresh peas & milk (really good!)

Dried-fruit custard tart

Home-grown Apple-sauce

and Mock Mead (a spiced honey drink) because it was a "dry" site :sad:

That all sounds so good, and nutritious.

I've been thinking on this feast so long now, I'm of the mind that whatever gets cooked and eaten -- it's got to be outdoors. In a backyard or theatre tailgate, no roof. No garbage cans either, just a communal green bin.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Unfortunately, I don't think that the poem Beowulf mentions any food.  The warriors seem to spend on all of their time in Heorot drinking mead/beer/wine and getting feasted upon by Grendel. 

This is a web page that lists food found at archeological digs of Viking sites:  Viking Age Foodstuffs

King Hrothgar's people were Danes, so perhaps  Danish recipes would be a place to start.

April

I find The Great Poem much too taxing to actually read - I'd rather go see a movie based on Beowulf and there's plenty of those around. This latest one has John Hurt as Rothgar and the setting is Norway, 709 AD.

We did a feast scene in the great hall that showed the tables full of food props - plastic animal parts, salted fish, cheeses, breads, etc. There were wine barrels and jugs of mead everywhere. I wish I'd snuck a few snapshots.

ETA: Thanks for the link April, it's a good one.

I have a copy of Beowulf that I am certain nobody has seen. Somehow I ended up with my sister's HS English project video tape (from about 15 years ago) that featured a female Beowulf and Rothgar's wife (did he even have a wife?) was played by the football team captain. Maybe I need to have a "premiere" party of my own with all your great food ideas. :D

Edited by Stefferdoos (log)
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Didn't Vikings eat Spam?

The ones in my neighborhood do. But no easy open cans for them, they rip the cans open with their teeth of course.

No but really evertime I see the subject of this thread "Authentic Viking Food" as opposed to the counterfeit or fast food kind maybe?

Just being silly.

:laugh:

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Viking fast food? The possibilities are endless.

In "The Princess Bride", Billy Crystal orders an MLT: Mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

Didn't Vikings eat Spam?

The ones in my neighborhood do. But no easy open cans for them, they rip the cans open with their teeth of course.

No but really evertime I see the subject of this thread "Authentic Viking Food" as opposed to the counterfeit or fast food kind maybe?

Just being silly.

:laugh:

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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