VIKING MAN FOOD by Tyr Neilsen

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The Norse people were fit, strong and healthy. Apart from living a physical lifestyle, in a land with lots of fresh water, fresh air and raw nature, a major reason for the good health of these people was their diet. Vikings knew how to hunt, trap, fish and cultivate livestock and crops. They had nutritious food in abundance, and had good techniques for preserving and storing food.

The men, women and children of the North ate much better than their European counterparts during the Viking Age. On every level of Viking society, from farmers to kings, meat was part of a meal eaten every day. Being great hunters, Norsemen had reindeer, moose, bear, boar, rabbit, duck, geese and other animals as a regular part of their diet. Meat also came from domestic animals such as cow, pig, sheep, goat and chicken. Being great fishermen meant that fish from lakes, rivers, fjords and the sea, was also a large part of their diet.


Although meat and fish were often roasted and fried, meat was also boiled together with vegetables. Viking Age farmers cultivated vegetables and fruit, but these also grew wild. A wide range of nuts, berries, herbs and seasonings also helped flavor this diet. 

From their trips to other countries and empires in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Vikings found spices and different foods than they were used to. Bringing these spices back to Scandinavia helped Viking food taste even better. 

Some people think that Viking food was dry and boring, but research shows otherwise. Vikings loved feasts and would celebrate several times a year. Gathering in longhouses, they would feast for several days, eating lavish meals with all kinds of meat and mouthwatering sauces, washed down with fabulous homemade alcohol. At such feasts, roasted horse meat or lamb would be served with beer and mead. 

Food has always played a central role in having a good life, and Vikings had a great choice of tasty and healthy food. Healthy food was the fuel that made Vikings strong and durable. Today we can make a Viking meal with ingredients that are the same or similar to what made our ancestors powerful.

A good, healthy diet is essential for a healthy body. Making sure you have a good selection of fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruit in your diet is simple and recommended. Also recommended is a protein rich meal shortly after training or working hard. Eating healthy food regularly and drinking plenty of fresh water throughout the day keeps energy up. 

Having a well balanced diet, daily exercise, and daily contact with nature, are essential for healthy mind, body and spirit. It is simple to fry up some fish, or steak some meat on an open campfire, and eating out in nature throughout the year is a fantastic and rewarding exerience. 

After a hard day’s work, a man needs a great tasting and fulfilling meal. A great meal makes the day much better, and knowing how to cook empowers you.

A vital man-skill is being able to turn meat and vegetables into a tasty meal. This includes choosing the ingredients, preparing them, and turning them into a healthy dinner. In order to provide ourselves with good fuel, we need to be able to cook food. This isn't about being able to make some fancy dish, but about having the ability and confidence to make a meal for yourself, for your family, and anyone you care for.

Here is a simple recipe for a great tasting and healthy meal for two that is easy to make on a campfire:


2x 200g Beef tenderloin
cherry tomato

Heat some of the fat from the beef in a frying pan. Grill the steaks for about thirty seconds on both sides to keep the juices in, then grill for two minutes on each side. Add slices of paprika, onion and cherry tomatoes. Fry in the pan with the beef, and squeeze a lemon lightly over the vegetables.

This is simple to make and tastes absolutely great.