It has been forever since i have done a book review here. I have been doing a bit of reading on historical cooking again, promted by listing to “The Great Courses: Food: A Cultural Culinary History“. I have read Bålmad for moderne vikinger” in the spring but I think I remember it enough to write a bit about what I think about it.
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.
A damper is an Austrian bread type that as far as I know has its origin in the colony era. It is a very quick bread. You just throw the ingredients together and then bake it right away. This recipe is one i modified from a recipe on albanyaustralia.com. I have made it in an oven and over open fire on a skillet at the larp I was at this summer. Both work great. The recipe is quite malleable and can be made both sweet and savory.
From historical sources we know that these viking flatbread were called “leve” which literally means living. Right now I am experimenting with bread for breakfast for the LARP we are going to (Drachenfest).
If you are a fan of fantasy or historical cooking, then I think you will enjoy this cookbook. All the recipes in it are for dishes mentioned in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire. It is written by two fans of the series and approved by George R. R. Martin. However it really fits a lot of fantasy settings and would be great inspiration for cooking for most other fantasy inspired events.
I visited my sister in Copenhagen this past weekend and among other things we went to Nationalmuseet (free entrance) to eat brunch and see their viking exhibition – which were both great. Their brunch is always good new nordic cooking with lots to choose from. The viking exhibition is part of their antiquity exhibition which in my opinion is a world-class exhibition. Especially the black treasure rooms are amazing. Well worth a visit. However their medieval exhibition is not worth your time. While we were there we of course had to visit the museum store and I brought “Mit vilde vikingekøkken” among other wonderful things.