The Vikings: Erik Ask-Upmark and Daniel Serra
Viking Cooking and More
Viking culture was about more – much more – than simply plundering and pillaging! Poetry and music were highly prized skills after all. What good was being a brave and fierce fighter if no one knew about your noble deeds? That was the role of the bards, known as skalds, who had many hundred years of story-telling and music-making traditions to fall back on. One of the most important events was the feast where such stories would have been presented for all to hear. Of course, all the while, enjoying meticulously prepared food, a long cry from the stereotypical gnawing on oversized chicken drumsticks! So please join the early musician Erik Ask-Upmark and food historian/culinary archeologist Daniel Serra to learn more about these aspects of the Vikings!
Erik Ask-Upmarkis a multi-instrumentalist proficient on piano, harp, lyre, accordion, and many different types of bagpipes and flutes. His specialty lies with old Nordic traditional instruments, especially the Nordic harp and the Swedish bagpipe. He is one of only 8 official Master Musicians (“Riksspelman”) on this unique instrument. He studied musicology at Göteborgs School of Music, and has since been active as a freelance musician and producer, focusing on the folk and early music genres. He has recorded a critically acclaimed solo album with traditional music but has also guest-starred on a wide variety of recordings. He has also appeared numerous times on nation-wide radio and TV broadcasts.
Daniel Serra, culinary archaeologist and lecturer from Malmo, Sweden, is a leading expert on Viking age food and is highly sought after for lectures and workshops. He discovered his interest in historical food when he started to study archaeology in the early 1990s. As a student he experimented with ancient Roman, medieval, and Renaissance recipes, and later, he started a medieval catering company, serving both food and facts. Serra is a Ph.D. student in archaeology working on a doctoral thesis on Viking age food culture. Serra says he has been actively engaged in experimental archaeology to get a better understanding of the cooking methods and culinary possibilities of the Viking age and medieval cuisine.