Tavern food

In Ribe, 825 AD is a tavern where Vikings passing through town can stop for a hearty meal and shelter for the night.

The Sagas of Icelanders describe the importance of hospitality to the Vikings. Through generosity the considerate host will gain respect, power and enjoy a good reputation after death. A host is to offer plenty of food and drink. The guest is not to eat too much or too little, but to enjoy in moderation. 

Fried bacon with stewed swede and field peas

200 g smoked bacon
300 g swede
5 cup water
200 g field peas
3 cup milk
3 tablespoon wheat flour

Dice the smoked bacon and cook it on a frying pan over the fire.

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the diced swede, cook until tender and then drain. Mix milk and flour and add to the cooked swedes. Leave to cook for another 5 minutes.

Cook the field peas in water in another pot for about 20 minutes or until tender.  

Lamb stew with mushrooms

200 g mushrooms
7 cup cream
5 cup water
200 g leg of lamb 
3 sprigs of angelica
4 garlic cloves
100 g onion
A little butter

Chop garlic and onion and cook in butter in a pot over the fire. Dice the meat and add this to the onion. Next, pour in the cream, add the sprigs of angelica and leave to simmer for 25 minutes. Quarter the rinsed mushrooms, add them to the pot along with water. Let it all simmer for another 20 minutes and serve hot. 

Sausage with panbread and mustard

4 sprigs of angelica
100 g fat
100 g lamb
100 g bacon
100 g onion
3 garlic cloves
Casing (intestine) from a pig

Coarse panbread

½ cup cracked wheat 
½ handful linseed
1 cup rye flour
½ cup water
A little salt


Mustard seeds

Sausage: Finely chop the lamb, angelica, fat, onion and garlic and mix well.

Fill the meat mixture into the casing by using a sausage stuffer (a piece of a cow's horn) and twist off into 10 cm lenghts.

Cook the sausages in boiling water for about 20 minutes. Drain the sausages and then fry them on pan about 10 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Panbread: Mix water, salt and linseed. Add the cracked wheat and rye flour. Knead well to form a firm dough.

Roll out the dough into a thin round of a size that fits in a pan. Place the pan with the bread over the fire. Let it cook about 15 minutes on each side.

Mustard: Pound the mustard seeds in a mortar and place them in a small eartenware pot. Add a little whey, some honey and salt and mix. A good mustard should be fairly hot.

Mustard was introduced in Denmark in the 700's AD. When mixing the mustard seeds with a fluid, the seeds turn into a strong tasting mustard oil. For centuries, hot spices have been used to intensify flavours and for medical use. Mustard is both an excellent anti-scorbutic and aphrodisiac.

Apples marinated in mead


Rinse and dice the apples. Put mead and apples in a pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes. 

Salty nuts


Bring the water to the boil in a frying pan. Dissolve the salt in the water, then add the nuts and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Drain well and put them on another dry frying pan. Heat over the fire until the nuts are completely dry and roasted.

Caramelised hazelnuts


Place the hazelnuts in a flax cloth and crack them using a wooden spoon. Place the nuts and honey on a frying pan over the fire. Remove the caramelised nuts from the pan after about 5 minutes and cool down.

Roasted apples


Cut the apples into halves and then slice them. Sprinkle with cinnamon and place them on a hot frying pan with the honey. Cook for about 5 minutes.


1 cup = 150 ml approx.

Ribe VikingeCenter's 2012 project 'Nordic food is Viking food' is supported by  Region Syddanmark.