Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Viking Carrots

I was flicking through the Amnesty International gift catalogue today when I saw something that made me wince slightly (speaking as a Viking re-enactor).
The idea is great - get kids growing vegetables under the pretext that they're "Growing and Eating like a Viking". Trouble is, the crop they are encouraged to grow is carrots.

Vikings didn't know about carrots.

One of the early references to carrots in Europe was the rather lovely book The Menagier of Paris, a manual written by an older man to instruct his new young wife in her household duties - including gardening, and including exciting new vegetables like carrots! The book was written in the 14th century. And the carrots were white, or purple, or yellow. Orange carrots that we know and love now were bred in the Netherlands, to celebrate their prince, whose title was "of Orange". Which was a place, as well as a colour.

So, it's not quite as bad as horns on helmets (Vikings never wore them - however the silly little bird on Kirk Douglas's helmet in the film The Vikings is totally authentic), or the scene in Noggin the Nog where he's planting potatoes in his garden when he's called to his throne room to give an audience (potatoes came later, too, and from much further south in the New World than the Vikings ever reached).

I wonder what the "Viking feast" is like, as described in the Viking recipe that comes with the pack....

No comments:

Post a Comment