We’re back from our holiday break. We spent the time sleeping, baking, entertaining ArchaeoBaby (Far more work than imagined) and most of all: Contracting a virus from one of our rare social gatherings, leading to the entire family being miserable for a week-plus. Alas, this had me thinking of Europe from the Viking Era, to the early medieval – and the plagues and concerns that would have befallen them during the winter.

It likely makes handy that this week’s recipe is taking place in Northern Europe, focusing on meal choices of the Vikings.

What did the Vikings eat?

If you are like me, you may have thought at first that Viking meals would match a nomadic, coastal lifestyle of bland, simple fish and grilled meats. While their cuisine choices included fish and grilled meats, it also was full of spices, exotic vegetables from their travels, and dishes in butter and milk, to provide additional fat during the winter. Vikings may have been travelers, but they did settle. In these sites they’d trade, raise livestock and farm, requiring integration of their foods to the local environments. This meant they had a diverse palate, but as we all know – The winter does not guarantee diversity.

With this, we settled on making a type of “Swedish Meatballs”, focusing on the ingredients that would have been present: Beef and Pork meat, butter, milk or cream, flour, mustard and horseradish. All of the first ingredients make sense for region, but you may be saying, Mustard? That’s not from Scandinavia. That is 100% true, but as we know on human migration and trade – Mustard, uh, finds a way… onto everyone’s plates. In this case, it was the Romans introducing it into mainland Europe, where by the 9th century, French Monks were making it in quantities to sell.

[zrdn-recipe id=61]


Meghan’s Review

4 out of 5 stars

So this was nearly a perfect dinner. It had a few issues though that caused it not to be a 5 out of 5. The main issue? It’s so difficult to see when this is fully cooked. Our original recipe I just cooked them until they were brown and then stewed them in the sauce. We were about 75% cooked, with pink everywhere. It wasn’t great because of that. The flavor was wonderful and I’m certain following the instructions above (with normal, oven baking out any rawness), will make for an amazing dinner. The oatmeal was a surprising addition and it made the dish so hearty.

Bradly’s Review

5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed this meal, even though I didn’t think I was going to. The oats kinda threw me off at first. And I thought the meal wasn’t going to be very filling but I was genuinely surprised on both counts. All the flavours worked together and I wasn’t hungry an hour after eating. I would give it 5 out of 5 meatballs.


I'm an IT Product Owner who enjoys playing video games, cooking and painting.

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