Based on research conducted in Northern and Central European archeological sites, the three archeologists behind the cookbook have gathered recipes from the Old Stone Age and all the way until the Middle Ages, allowing readers to sample not only the cuisine of the Vikings but also Romans.
The cookbook is the result of the authors' wish to share their research findings to maybe have a meaningful impact on people's diets today.
The benefits of ancient cooking
Sabine Karg, who is one of the authors, as well as an archeologist, botanist, and guest researcher at the University of Copenhagen's Saxo Institute, explains that "In our busy lives where cooking takes the lowest priority, where we just eat a burger in passing while we work, watch TV or play computer games, a bit of prehistoric cooking could be a way of breaking these habits."
Indeed, the recipes also give families the opportunity to spend more quality time together, with many of the recipes being suitable for families to make together.
The recipes contain ingredients that were commonly used in their respective time periods.
A result of research
On how they uncovered these ingredients, Karg says that it is the result of her studies and analysis of the plants which have been found at prehistoric trash layers and fire rings.
"We've found crusts, carbonized remnants, seeds, fruits, bones, fish bones, and shell heaps. This variety of ingredients has helped us form an idea of what people ate in the old days, and that's reflected in our recipes," Karg elaborates.
Looking for historically accurate Viking recipes? Look no further! Photo: Igor Shoshin / Shutterstock
When writing the recipes, the authors paid close attention to making them as historically accurate as possible. For this, they made sure to just use the ingredients people used in these time periods.
However, when writing the Roman recipes, the authors faced much less ambiguity as the recipes were actually written by the star chefs of the time.
More than 80 recipes
As for what one can expect to find in this book, the more than 80 recipes include wild mashed apples with sea buckthorn as well as a barley-lentil pot with blubber.
Each of the recipes is marked with which time period they are from and also lets the readers know which season they are suitable for, should this be of interest.
The cookbook was first published all the way back in 1995, but the newer editions available today contain illustrations showing scenes with the clothes, cooking methods, and equipment used at the time that the recipe is from.
So should you ever want to be more adventurous, perhaps it's time to try some of their Viking recipes for a historically accurate experience in the kitchen.
Interested in the Viking diet? Make sure to check out our deep-dive article on the issue here.
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