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North European food of the Middle Ages

North European food of the Middle Ages

C035/9335

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Credit

MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Iceland has retained many of the food traditions from the end of the first millennium. Hunting, fishing and farming were equally important and conserving food for the long winter was essential. Non-breeding sheep were slaughtered in autumn (lower right). Meat was eaten fresh and smoked. Singed and boiled sheep's head was eaten fresh, while blood pudding would only last a short time. Bread was made from rye (top left), a more successful grain in the north, or baked as unleavened flat bread (top centre). Cured (rotted) shark (bottom left) is now only eaten on special occasions. Men collected guillemot and other eggs. As well as fresh fish, catches were salted (top right) and simply dried to be reconstituted or eaten dry with butter. Milk was churned to butter or separated into curds (centre left), similar to yoghurt, and whey (centre right) which could be drunk, used for pickling or made into a brown cheese.

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