The Vikings sailed to England 1,000 years ago. Now River Cottage is coming to Denmark to offer a modern suggestion for the taste of the Viking Age. When the Sea Stallion sails on its anniversary voyage on 8-28 July, the chefs from River Cottage will go aboard and sail from Kerteminde to Samsø. On the voyage they will prepare a meal with a taste of the Viking Age for the longship's 55 crew members. On Tuesday 24 July, the chefs will prepare the New Viking Feast on Samsø. A feast for 100 guests. The commodities will be selected from the Viking Age larder and supplied by local producers. It is a closed event, but River Cottage is filming it for a documentary that will be accessible to all.
Meals in rough sea
In Kerteminde, Gill Meller, Steven Lamb and photographer Tom Zinoveiff will go on board the Sea Stallion. Their challenge is to cook a lunch for the ship's crew. There is no kitchen! The food must be prepared while sitting in the open air in the ship's galley, which consists of two large wooden boxes with a gas hob and kitchenware. The chefs will be assisted, however, by the ship's experienced stewards Solvej and Kenneth, also a chef, who will be ready to lend a helping hand.
Creating a meal on board the Sea Stallion requires many ingredients, a great deal of coordination and a lot of patience and imagination. Lettuce is cut up in washing tubs, rice is steamed in woollen blankets and the menu is often "pot luck". Experiences from the Sea Stallion's Ireland expedition showed that the Vikings needed a great deal of energy. Each meal requires 13 kg of meat, vegetables and rice, pasta or cereal. During the voyages of the Viking Age, dried and smoked fish and meat were a regular part of the diet at sea. On land they often ate porridge. The challenge for River Cottage will be to create an energy-rich, tasty meal inspired by the Viking kitchen.
The New Viking Feast on Samsø is a generous collaboration
The Viking Ship Museum, in collaboration with the Samsø Business and Tourism Centre and local producers on Samsø, have invited the people from River Cottage to create a feast for 100 people in Langør on the island. The meal can be realized due to a generous collaboration; the raw materials are sponsored by local producers from Samsø, and the meal will be prepared in collaboration between the River Cottage chefs, local chefs, volunteers and the stewards from the Sea Stallion.
Although Samsø is best known for its potatoes, they will not be on the table. The potato only arrived in Scandinavia from South America several centuries later. However, there will be fresh beans, fish from the sea around the island, selected berries and herbs. River Cottage will also prepare Gute sheep, which are known from the Viking Age. The Vikings used their wool to make sails. Today, the sheep help to maintain the protected natural areas on Samsø.
New Nordic Viking Food
The feast on Samsø will be prepared according to the principles of the New Nordic Viking Food. New Nordic Viking Food is a project where the museum shows museum visitors new ways to experience the five original Viking ships that are displayed in the Viking Ship Hall, through food experiences that link the meal, maritime history and the commodities used during the Viking Age. The flavour of the New Nordic Viking Food has been developed in collaboration with Restaurant Snekken, which is located in extension to the museum, and the Zone for Food Culture.
New Nordic Viking Food was founded on the basis of four dogmas: commodities from the Viking Age are used, including the ingredients that the Vikings brought back from other countries; the food is a new interpretation with contemporary flavours, presentation and cooking methods; it is natural to use local and seasonal ingredients; the meal brings to life the story of the five Viking ships in the Viking Ship Hall.
River Cottage will film on board the Sea Stallion on the trip from Kerteminde to Samsø, as well as the preparations, visits to local producers and the feast. The result will be a documentary film that will be available on the River Cottage website.
The New Viking Feast will take place in connection with the Viking festival 'Viking Samsø' and in the area around Samsø Nature School at Langør and on Langør Harbour. The evening event will not be open to the public. The invited participants will be the crew of the Sea Stallion and local producers.
> Read about the Sea Stallion and River Cottage at Samsø...
River Cottage is best known in Denmark as a TV programme, but they have been behind countless projects in the UK, including cookery classes and restaurant activities, but also sustainability and self-sufficiency initiatives. Gill Meller, Steven Lamb, John Wright and the photographer Tom Zinoveiff will participate in the visit from River Cottage.
Gill Meller, River Cottage
Steven Lamb, River Cottage
Solveig Lyng Jørgensen, Sea Stallion
Kenneth Roar Olofsen, Sea Stallion
Kasper Gaard, chefkok, Ilse Made
Jacob Ravensgaard, Ilse Made
Hans Christian Hesseldahl, Rum og Rooms
The project has been supported by Samsø Municipality, the Samsø Foundation, local producers on Samsø and F.O.O.D.
New Nordic Viking Food was developed by the Viking Ship Museum in collaboration with Restaurant Snekken, the Zone for Food Culture and F.O.O.D. The development is supported financially by the project A Bite of History / Zone for Food Culture, Region Zealand and F.O.O.D.