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Fish strung over a fire – the Viking way of cooking fish. Source: Igor / Adobe Stock.

How Cod Saved the Vikings (Video)


Cod, the mighty fish of the sea, held the Vikings in its firm grasp. These fierce seafarers depended on cod for survival and adventure. With its abundance, the Atlantic cod became their culinary cornerstone, nourishing them in dried, salted, and smoked forms. They mastered preservation techniques, ensuring a stockpile for long voyages and unforgiving winters. But cod went beyond sustenance—it fueled their economy and trade. The Vikings, fearless navigators, sailed far and wide in pursuit of this coveted fish. From the frigid North Atlantic to distant waters, they cast their nets to capture cod's riches. Dried cod, known as stockfish, became their currency, exchanged for treasures from neighboring lands and far-off shores.

Even cod's liver held secrets the Vikings treasured. They extracted its oil, a potent elixir, providing them with essential vitamin D during the sunless winter months. This golden liquid also held medicinal powers, healing their ailments and ailments of others. Cod was their lifeblood, intricately woven into the tapestry of Viking society. It sustained their bellies, enriched their coffers, and fueled their sense of adventure. The Vikings, forever entwined with the mighty cod, navigated the seas with reverence, forever bound by their dependency on this remarkable fish.

Top image: Fish strung over a fire – the Viking way of cooking fish. Source: Igor / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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