In case you’re wondering how I’m doing on the Virtual Book Tour I’ve been working on for my publisher, I think I can say it’s been going well. I’ve finished one blog post and several interviews for various literature-related blogs. And yes, I’ll let you know where to look for them, once they appear (assuming I find out myself).
I’m nearly finished with the first batch of interviews. I understand more are coming. Today the publicist asked me how I felt about writing a food-related post for a blog that talks to authors about their favorite recipes.
Now on the surface that doesn’t make much sense, me being a certified microwave-dependent bachelor (though I do make a mean scratch chocolate chip cookie when the fit is on me). But the idea of writing about Viking food, and relating it to West Oversea (buy it here) is intriguing. I’ve decided to do it, and I’ve made arrangements to borrow a recipe from a reenactor friend.
(And yes, in case you wondered, I will give her credit for it.)
I feel confident I can produce a post unlike any this particular blog has seen before. A hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners exposé of genuine Viking cuisine, featuring such delights as rotten shark (a delicacy in Iceland which reportedly made that Chef Gordon Ramsey throw up), and sheep’s head (also popular in Iceland. The eyeballs, I’m told, are especially relished). Many is the joke that’s been made about lutefisk over the years, but the Norwegians’ beloved lutefisk is just a pale, ghostly remnant of the true Nightmare On Elm Street mealtime horrors of the Scandinavian past.
Because we’re talking about a marginal economy, where taste places a far distant second to survival.
People sometimes ask me whether I wish I had been born in the Viking Age.
My answer is no, for three reasons.
One, I was a sickly child who would in all probability have been exposed on a hillside for the wolves at birth.
Two, the plumbing was awful.
Three, the food was inedible to the modern palate.
I’ve written a time travel book (still unpublished at this date) in which a father and daughter get the opportunity to go back to Viking Age Norway and stay there. She points out that if they did, they’d never get to eat chocolate again.
I call that an excellent point.