What did the Vikings eat?

(ORDO NEWS) — When people hear the word “Vikings” , they immediately imagine warlike bearded men smashing Europe and worshiping Odin. However, this is not quite true.

Historical documents say that some Viking tribes were not prone to violent raids at all. Instead of sword and shield, men chose agricultural tools and engaged in farming rather than war.

As in most feudal societies, the Vikings were active in cultivating the land, growing crops and raising animals. Due to climatic conditions, the harvest was poorer than in central or southern Europe, but they managed to cover their own needs.

The Vikings ate twice a day

An hour after waking up, they had a light snack and went about their business. In the evening or late at night, returning to the house, an incredibly hearty dinner and a lot of alcohol awaited them.

When holidays such as Yule (the mid-winter festival of the historical Germanic peoples) came and lasted for several days, the Vikings ate as much as they fit into them, which is generally familiar to modern people.

Undoubtedly, the diet of the Vikings varied depending on the region of residence, but we will talk about what most of them had on the table.

What did the Vikings eat 2


This food product was available to all Vikings, regardless of social status. They preferred to eat the meat of cows, horses, oxen, goats, pigs, sheep, chickens and ducks.

Most of the farm animals were slaughtered at the end of November to save on feed. Frosts made it possible to store meat in the air throughout the season.

When the Vikings wanted to eat wild meat, they hunted hares, wild boars, squirrels and deer. In places like Greenland, the Vikings hunted seals and even polar bears.

A fish

The Vikings were avid fishermen and loved both freshwater and saltwater fish. For long-term storage of fish, salting, drying and pickling were used.


The Vikings ate the eggs of chickens, ducks and geese. Seagull eggs were considered a delicacy, for which they had to climb sheer cliffs.

Cereal crops

The northern climate was best suited for growing oats, rye and barley. Gathering and storing crops, the Vikings provided themselves with raw materials for the production of porridge, bread and beer for a long time.

What did the Vikings eat 3

Fruits and nuts

The Vikings have long cultivated cherries, pears and apples. In summer and early autumn, wild berries and nuts were collected, which played an important role in the diet.

Milk products

The Vikings not only drank milk in its pure form, but also made butter, cottage cheese and cheese from it.

As you can see, the diet of the Scandinavian warriors did not differ much from what most people eat today.


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