WHAT THE VIKINGS ATE
Turns out even poor Vikings fared better with food than the average English peasant during the Middle Ages. Though their diet varied depending on where they settled, Scandinavians generally ate two meals a day, with some type of meat every day. Meat was not just for the wealthy.
Fish, shellfish, seal, whale, farm animals and wild animals were generally roasted on an iron spit or cooked in a big kettle of stew with vegetables. (Puffin was eaten in Iceland while elk meat and reindeer ruled in Sweden. Norwegians relied on bountiful herring and cod.) Berries, nuts and bread made from rye or barley flour along with cheese and butter supplemented their diet.
The Vikings ate something that could have been called a precursor to the sandwich as it consisted of thick slices of bread spread with butter and meat. Today in Norway and Denmark, a traditional openface sandwich is called a smørbrød. The Viking Star’s on-board Norwegian-themed Mamsen’s (a Norwegian nickname for “grandmother”) is a casual deli dedicated to turning out these open-face delicacies as well as other treats and light fare throughout the day. They include specialties such as gjetost (a sweet, brown-coloured whey cheese) on heart-shaped waffles as well as smørbrød with shrimp, herring, beef tartare and cured salmon.