In response to a challenge from Kaðlin, here’s a quick list of some of my go-to sources on Viking food.
If other folks have favorite Viking food related sources, I’d love to hear about them. Also, if this is something people are interested in I’ll post more.
Astill, Grenville, and John Langdon. Medieval Farming and Technology: The Impact of Agricultural Change in Northwest Europe. Brill Academic Publishers, 1997. Print.
This is a great source on the state of agriculture before and during the Viking period, and the changes that took place shortly afterward. Lots of technical detail for the serious nerd. Note: this is totally about agriculture and agricultural technology, not food in any way.
Hansson, Ann-Marie. On plant food in the Scandinavian Peninsula in early medieval times. Stockholm: Archaeological Research Laboratory Stockholm University, 1997. Print.
One of my very favorites. This is the book I come back to again and again. Some of the best research into Viking bread, with some info on porridge and other grain based foods as well. Excellent pictures and analysis of the extant bread fragments.
Isaksson, Sven. Food and rank in early medieval time. Stockholm: Archaeological Research Laboratory [Arkeologiska forskningslaboratoriet] Univ., 2000. Print.
There is some great stuff here about how food is associated with rank. Of particular interest (to me) is an article about what we can learn from Viking pottery shards in terms of what foodstuffs they once contained. Isaksson looks at cellular material from the shards, as well as doing an analysis of the fat residues.
Katz, Sandor. Wild fermentation : the flavor, nutrition, and craft of live-culture foods. White River Junction Vt.: Chelsea Green Pub., 2003. Print.
Not strictly historical, but the best book out there on fermented foods and how to make them. A great resource for those trying to recreate Viking foods (many of which, I think, were fermented).
Lysaght, Patricia, and University College, Dublin.;European Ethnological Research Centre. Milk and milk products from medieval to modern times : proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Ethnological Food Research, Ireland, 1992. Edinburgh: Published by Canongate Academic in association with the Department of Irish Folklore University College Dublin and the European Ethnological Research Centre Edinburgh, 1994. Print.
Very good book of articles on how milk was processed and consumed historically. Of particular interest is an article on skyr and whey in medieval Iceland. A bit later than Viking period, but I think much of it still applies. Also an interesting piece on the mixture of beer and milk in early modern Sweden.
Meyer-Renschhausen, Elisabeth. “The porridge debate: Grain, nutrition, and forgotten food preparation techniques.” Food and Foodways 5.1 (1991): 95-120.
A very interesting article on how changes in grain processing have effected the way we percieve/use/digest grain.