The Key to Survival: Viking Warrior Diet

Most of us can easily name a few popular Norse mythology gods and goddesses without struggling. These mythological characters from the Northern Germanic tribes of the 9th century AD are obviously a huge part of a wide array of fascinating stories that were passed down from generation to generation. However, these various Scandinavian and Icelandic legends and pre-Christian beliefs depicting a variety of goddesses, gods, mythical creatures and other enchanting characters shouldn’t only be the one that deserves attention. We have to also try to be knowledgeable and get familiarized with the Viking way of life. 

Survival of the fittest

There’s no doubt that hunger is definitely one of those prime factors that run the course of evolution. It is considered the fuel of evolution and when it comes down to it, Viking warriors were no exception. They’re basically humans too so these fearsome warriors get hungry and hear that stomach growling sound just like the rest of us living in the 21st century. 

We all know that they were courageous battle fighters and skillful navigators that blatantly terrorized, plundered and raided medieval Europe. They were also famous for their lack of chivalry and good-fellowship amongst each other. These two dangerous combinations are what made these gruesome and fearless pagans absolutely a force to be reckoned with. 

They certainly made their mark in history and their predatorial, brave and violent approach to go after their opponents, explore new routes and raid new lands didn’t go unnoticed. 

If they can boldly instill a lot of fear among their opponents and other people living at that time with their harsh acts and unfazed behavior then I can’t imagine how these daring and well-equipped warriors will act when they were all extremely hungry after an exhausting day of ransacking. That will be pure and intense chaos, to say the least. 

Viking Diet 101

We need the energy to survive and we get that from the food we eat and these warriors definitely know how to innovate and make the most out of the very limited ingredients available at that time. Although their diet may lack some important nutrients here and there, what they ate during the middle ages is actually commendable considering that the not so well-off Vikings ate better than an English peasant.

Vikings ate either hog meat, horse meat, mutton, goats and had beef during meal times. Aside from being good animal raisers and catchers, they were known to be avid hunters so they also get their protein source from bears, elk, and reindeer meat too. And since they get to spend time on the water, it’s not surprising that they eat a lot of fish like stockfish and herrings for additional source of key protein

One of the highlights of their meals is “skause”, a boiled meat stew wherein they add several more cuts of meats and vegetables as the days go by in replacement of the ones that were already devoured. They continue doing this until the broth became more concentrated and appetizing. It’s also worth noting that they ate this along with some sourdough loaves and some of them would prefer to add milk to it to further enhance and develop the taste of this bread. 

Apart from getting their dose of protein and carbs, they also ate different fruits and vegetables that they cultivated like white carrots, beans, peas, cabbages, and berries to name a few. They also used a variety of seasonings and herbs, including but not limited to mustard, cumin, horseradish, and coriander, in order to spice things up and give more flavor to their dishes.

That’s it for now! Now that you have an idea what Vikings ate back in the day, it’ll be interesting to imagine what kind of food they can prepare in this day and age with so many available options and resources, right? Do you think they’ll start a fight if they saw that someone is about to get that piece of meat or whatever condiments they’re eye-ing on at the grocery store? We’ll never know and let’s leave all of that to our imagination.

Thanks for reading our blog post and watch out for our next one!  



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