Lore:Nord Cuisine

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Nord cuisine reflects the harsh climate and rugged landscape that has shaped their warrior culture. Farming is difficult, but wild game supplies a good deal of their nutrition. These meats are preserved through smoking, drying, pickling, or salting. Fish are also a prominent feature in Nord cooking, such as the salmon endemic to the White River. The Nords are reputed for their great, warm, hearty feasts. Large roasts of mammoth, horker, and assorted game meats are cooked over a spit in the center of the hall, while rustic desserts made with juniper or snowberries are baked in cob ovens. The fruits available in Skyrim's scattered bushes have also made their way into the mead that is much-loved by this rugged race, which has developed a reputation abroad for being sweet and strong.[1]:10

The Nords use a few specialty tools in cooking. The blubber masher possesses a fine mesh made of tightly woven steel wires. It is used to break up thick sea mammal blubber for cooking.[2]

Baked Goods[edit]

Bread is common in Skyrim. Rye is the traditional Nord flour.[1]:81

Name Description Image
Braided Bread Often reserved for special occasions, this hand-braided bread is made in the heart of midwinter, when stores are running low and better weather is a dream for another month. It makes use of some preciously guarded ingredients with the inclusion of dried fruit, nuts, and spices. All in all, it makes a special loaf that promises better days to come, while celebrating the harvest of the previous year. It pairs well with fresh butter and jam.[1]:71
Braided Bread (Skyrim)
Braided Bread (ESO)
Cheese Scones Often considered a breakfast item, their versatility also grants them a spot in meals that occur later in the day. Cheese scones are baked with all kinds of cheese: eidar and mammoth are popular in Skyrim, but more adventurous types might experiment with Dark Elven scuttle. Scones are flaky, and baked in an oven. Cheese scones pair well with fresh butter or pea soup.[1]:75
Garlic Bread Garlic Bread is bread that has been cooked with butter and garlic. It is often paired with soup.[1]:77
Garlic Bread
Lavender and Honey Bread A popular bread in Whiterun, where lavender grows wild beehives are kept to provide the meaderies with honey for their brews. Honey and lavender are a natural pairing that is also used for mead.[1]:87
Meadow Rye Bread Bread made of rye dough that makes for an excellent companion to soup. It is especially good with creamy soups. Loaves of rye bread are common in tavern kitchens, which seek out products that can be baked quickly to satisfy more customers.[1]:73
Nut and Seed Loaf The components for this loaf are gathered by foraging. It can be made with any seed or nut available, but in Skyrim, it's commonly made with things like ironwood nuts and seeds from the numerous wildflowers that are native to the region.[1]:83
Potato Bread Potato Bread supplements wheat with potato in order to stretch out the supply of flour in Skyrim, as wheat is in high demand. Commonly topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon, or fresh butter.[1]:81
Potato Bread
Rye Crisps Thin and flavorful seedy rye crackers that pair quite well with a little cream cheese and smoked fish. Often eaten by fishermen throughout the workday.[1]:85
Rye Crisps

Cheeses[edit]

Name Description Image
Ald Umber Ald Umber is a cheese produced in Whiterun, whey from curd-pressings is collected and rather than being discard, it is combined with cream. This mixture is boiled in a wide, shallow pot over the course of many hours. The liquid becomes solid over time, and in doing so, it adopts a pale brown color and caramel-like aroma, hence the name "umber."[3]
Barrowost Barrowost or commonly, barrow-cheese, much resembles the common eidar cheese found throughout the holds of Skyrim. Whereas eidar cheese is aged in cellars or caverns, however, barrowost is exclusively aged in Nordic barrows. Be it from the stagnant air, the endlessly sweating stone, or the magic within the barrow walls, the cheese gains an intense earthy sweetness, punctuated with sharp notes.

It is one of Falkreath's most reputed cheeses. Some citizens of Falkreath follow an ancient Nord tradition of "grave curd." According to the practice, a fresh farmer's cheese is interred atop a loved one's coffin. Every year, on the anniversary of the departed's death, the grave curd is exhumed and a fifth of it is consumed by the bereaved.[3]

Bjenost Bjenost is a cheese eaten almost exclusively by the people of the Pale, who do so to mark the end of winter and the return of spring. Bjenost almost certainly originated among the poor of the hold, though now high and low tables alike enjoy this delicacy.

Rinds and crumbs of cheeses that were consumed over the course of the long, dark winter, are then soaked in a tun of ale, which is all stuffed inside the intestines of a slaughtered pig. The bjenost is then hung to dry, to be taken down only at the High Spring Fest. It is sliced into golden disks, said to resemble the sun in springtime.[3]

Eidar Eidar is a type of cheese eaten by the Nords alongside hearty spit-roasted meats. It has a rich, earthy flavor and creamy texture that are quite conducive to sauces. It is produced by being aged underground and inoculated with the spores of fungus.[3]

One notable type of Eidar is Solitude Eidar.

Eidar cheese wheel (Skyrim)
Ghostflesh Ghostflesh is a cheese produced in Winterhold, where both cow and goat's milk are in short supply. What little is at hand is made into a fresh, soft farmer's cheese.

The elderly and the children of the hold, too young to brave the waters of the Sea of Ghosts, spend the day collecting seaweed, which they dry for several weeks. The simple farmer's cheese is smoked over a pile of burning seaweed, imbuing it with an aroma of the sea. It is then baked, being wrapped in a pastry that is composed of flour and horker suet. This permits the brave fisherfolk to eat while working the sea, where often they can only spare one hand at a time.

When freshly baked, the molten innards of these dumplings steam and crackle, while the crust remains flaky and light.[3]

Greenedge Greenedge is a festive cheese of Hjaalmarch. The name of the cheese, derived from the "baskets" of rushes plucked from nearby bogs and woven together, speaks to both its visual appeal and the process of its creation. The cheese is brined and pressed within these baskets, with the latter process imbuing the rind of the normally cream-colored cheese with a verdant hue.

The consumption of Greenedge, customarily served at the end of feasts, is something of a spectacle. Young hunters make a game of holding the rush-encased cheese over a flaming torch until its casing burns away and the cheese transforms into a near-molten state. Observers laud veterans of this ordeal for the showmanship they add to this feat, dancing the highly combustible cheese along the torch flame without pausing too long, lest the cheese blacken or their fingers burn.

Thus prepared, they flip the hot cheese onto a table and guests immediately plunge bread—or, occasionally, sliced apples—into the melted greenedge. Children find particular joy in the activity, for at this point the cheese's secret contents are revealed—dried fruits and berries, and in wealthier households a single amber plum. The lucky eater that spears the plum before all others is named king of the feast.[3]

Riftwash Riftwash is a goat cheese with a glassy, violet-black exterior, which belies a pallid and crumbly core. It is pressed to remove much of the water within the cheese, producing a dry cheese, the cheese is washed several times in Riften's famous blackberry mead before being shrouded in wax which has been dyed with blackberry must, a by-product of the city's burgeoning meadworks.[3]
Solitude Eidar Solitude Eidar is an extremely valued and rare cheese produced in Solitude.

Only cows that belonged to the herd of Jarl Svartr, first king of Western Skyrim, can provide milk for the cheese. The royal herd, descended from these cows, is maintained by loyal retainers. Milk arrives regularly in Solitude, where it undergoes inspection by a royal cheesemonger—a hereditary office within the Blue Palace. This connoisseur of dairy has exacting standards for the milk he inspects and only one out of every dozen barrels is deemed fit for the making of Solitude Eidar. The milk curdles in a precise fashion, using a series of hourglasses custom-made for the purpose. Lastly, a crumb of cheese from the previous batch is added into the next one, thus creating an unbroken chain of eidar dating back generations.[3]

Desserts[edit]

Name Description Image
Apple Cobbler Apple Cobbler is made from the apples of Skyrim's orchards.[1]:149
Apple Pie Apple Pie is a type of pie made from apples.
Apple Pie
Birch Cookie Birch trees and their enterprising spirit are honored with miniature versions of the birch logs that burn in many a hearthfire, keeping the Nords warm and snug.[1]:137
Boiled Creme Treat Boiled Creme Treats are quite popular in Skyrim. The fluffy sweet dough around a creamy custard filling makes for a substantial little dessert.[1]:153
Boiled Creme Treat
Hand Pie Portable treats with a flaky crust that are popular at festivals and other social gatherings. Especially popular at Bard's College during the Fire Festival. Made with rye dough, meat, and rice.[1]:119
Honeycomb A rare treat for Nords.[1]:139
Honeycomb (Skyrim)
Honeycomb (ESO)
Honeycomb Brittle A confection that looks like a honeycomb. It is light and crispy, with toasted honey flavors.[1]:139
Honey-Dipped Apples As tart apples are a staple in Skyrim, they can easily be made into honey-dipped apples. The apples are served either roasted or raw, then iced with a drizzle of sweet milk and honey. They are described as sticky, messy, sweet, and tart.[4]
Honey Pudding Originally a Khajiit dish, the Nords forego the moon-sugar in favor of allowing the honey's natural sweetness to shine through.[1]:143
Jazbay Crostata A tart that is strictly a delicacy best enjoyed after a heartier meal. The primary ingredient is Jazbay, with the dark, sweet juice of the grapes sinking into the dough to create a deliciously moist base, though it's sturdy enough to not be soggy. It is considered too sweet to some.[4]
Jazbay Crostata
Long Taffy Treat The recipe for this confection that was so closely guarded that it was impossible for the average Nord to make up until 4E 201. A careless Whiterun guard let slip the secret after one too many ales, so now it is enjoyed much more widely.[1]:141
Long Taffy Treat
Nimalten Goat Cheese Goat Cheese curds dipped in hot oil and honey are remarkably tasty dish typical for Nimalten.[5]
Oatmeal Raisin Shortbread Sweet, buttery, and eaten across Skyrim, these little iced shortbreads are a good pick-me-up in the morning or in the afternoon.[1]:145
Snowberry Crostata A tart that is simpler than a pie, yet no less delectable. On their own, snowberries are so tart as to be quite unpalatable and so this pastry perfectly marries the tartness of the berry with the sweetness of the bread to create a truly memorable experience. Nords often eat this crostata after a meal as a treat, or early in the morning before a day's work.[4]
Snowberry Crostata
Spiced Root Cake Spiced Root Cake is baked from batter made with carrots and parsnips. It pairs well with canis root tea.[1]:155

Fruit and Vegetable Dishes[edit]

Skyrim's cold clime may make farming difficult,[citation needed] but Nords aren't without their fair share of greens. Though they are not vegetables, round, white mushrooms are often served alone in bowls or accompanying larger meals.[6]

Name Description Image
Grilled Leeks Grilled Leeks can often be spied gracing the tables of the rich and poor alike across Skyrim.
Grilled Leeks
Ironwood Nuts Ironwood Nuts are a hard-shelled fruit that are harvested from ironwood trees growing deep in the forests of Skyrim. The wood of these trees is hard as the metal after which it is named. The very rare black variety of ironwood produces a nut that is very succulent and believed to heighten the strength of whoever is able to crack its shell and consume it.[7]
Ironwood Nuts
Potato Porridge Porridge made from potatoes.[8]

Meats and Fish[edit]

The cold waters of Skyrim provide a bountiful source of seafood for the hardy Nords. They also keep cows, pigs and chickens for their meat. Fish are often preserved by drying them in the cold air and wind on wooden racks.[9] The fish are not salted before they are dried. The result is stockfish, which can be eaten alone[10] or served alongside other fare, such as mushrooms and bread.[11]

The Nords sometimes smoke their meats; sausage is a prime example.[12] Sausage, eggs and ham are common breakfast items in the western Holds. They can be plated in any combination of the three components;[13][14] a full meal can consist of all three.[15] Beef ribs are a delight from any Nord smoker, and are served by the rack.[16]

Meatloaf in Falkreath is commonly made with wild game, carrots and cheese.[17]

Name Description Image
Baked White River Salmon Salmon is plentiful in the White River. Most simply bake the fish with some herbs which results in a delicious meal, but nobles often prefer it baked into a pastry case.[1]:109
Charred Skeever Meat Skeevers can be cooked on a spit over an open flame.[18][19] The charred hide of spit-roasted skeevers can also be used as an alchemical ingredient. Skeevers aren't generally eaten in this manner by the public; rather, those living in the wilderness may be more inclined to kill and roast a wild skeever.[18]
Charred Skeever
Cheese-Baked Trout Trout that has been baked with cheese.[20]
Chicken Dumpling Chicken Dumplings are a specialty of many inns across Skyrim, where travelers can enjoy them hot after a long day's journey, but they're also a popular pick in many personal kitchens. In either case, the creamy filling has restorative properties.[1]:111
Chicken Dumpling
Companions Meatball Bake A simple dish that is popular among Whiterun's Companions, where it is always served in a round shape to symbolize their equality with one another. These meatballs might be made of whatever has been freshly caught, be it bear, venison, boar, or mammoth.[1]:115
Eel Eels are fished and eaten in Solitude.
Fresh Solitude Eel
Elk and Scuttle Elk and Scuttle is a dish eaten on the island of Solstheim. It consists of elk meat and scuttle.[21]
Goatherd's Pie Goatherd's Pie is a meat pie that uses goat meat as its primary ingredient.[1]:123
Horker Loaf Horker Loaf is a common dish for many coastal families. It's considered lucky to eat the roasted garlic "tusks" at the top of the loaf, and children will often compete with one another to get them.[1]:131
Horker Loaf
Juniper Lamb Chops Lamb chops with juniper berry sauce. Juniper commonly grows in the southwest regions of Skyrim.[1]:129
Mammoth Steak Mammoth Steak is a cut of steak made from mammoths. While much of the animal is tough and inedible, the loin is exquisitely tender. Cutting a slice from this impressive part of the beast yields a flank of meat that can be seared or broiled.[22]
Mammoth Steak
Seared Nordic Barnacles Seared Nordic Barnacles are an uncommon dish due to the fact that Nordic barnacles are relatively rare. They are a highly sought-after ingredient.[1]:107
A Nordic Barnacle
Stewed Mutton Stewed sheep meat.[23]
Patty Melt The patty melt is a sandwich consisting of a ground beef patty with melted cheese and topped with caramelized onions between two slices of griddled bread.[24]
Rabbit Meatballs Meatballs made from rabbit meat. Some Nords make spicy rabbit meatballs.[23][5]
Salmon Steak A cooked slab of salmon meat
Salmon Steak
Seared Slaughterfish Slaughterfish are often seared to make steaks.

Nordic tradition requires the cook to sear the fish, once picked clean of bones, until the skin is blackened. Some prefer to cook the flesh slowly by wrapping the fish in cabbage leaves, searing the skin as the very last step before consumption.[22] It goes well with mammoth cheese.[25]

Seared Slaughterfish

Soups and Stews[edit]

Basic hearty meat stews may contain red[26] or white meat.[27] Mushrooms and whole fish can be scrounged up to make a simple stew while camping out in the wilderness.[28]

Name Description Image
Apple Cabbage Stew Apple Cabbage Stew is a richly flavored broth that is both nutritious and delicious, despite the limited ingredient list. For many Nords, this meal reminds them of their youth. Though, there is some debate over the method of cooking the stew, mainly in the use of the apples. A strict divide exists between those who believe in mashing, and those who believe in cutting.[22]

Imperials prefer a version of this dish that uses red cabbage, which they say is sweeter.[1]:91

Apple Cabbage Stew
Braised Rib Stew with Farro One of Skyrim's most rustic soups, it is common in small villages and hunting camps that are far from cities, where every bit of food is considered precious and nothing is wasted. The rib bones at the bottom of the pot give the broth extra nutrients that are essential for surviving long spells of frigid weather. It pairs well with garlic bread.[1]:95
Cabbage Potato Soup Soup made with potatoes and cabbage.
Cabbage Potato Soup
Coastal Clam Chowder A Nordic chowder. Nordic barnacles, clams, oysters, mudcrabs, and a variety of fish are often included in this chowder, depending on the catch of the day. It is a popular staple in coastal cities like Solitude and Winterhold.[1]:93
Clam Chowder
Horker Soup Made from the meat of horkers, this soup is uncomplicated, wonderfully salty, and has a thin broth. It's best served with a warm loaf of bread to sop up the last dredges.[22]
Pea Soup A simple, hearty staple that sticks to the ribs. It's a popular option in the depths of winter, when fresh greens are the hardest to come by. It incorporates some of Skyrim's most popular ingredients, using dried peas and cured bacon along with carefully stored leeks and carrots.[1]:99
Potato Cheddar Soup A staple at every farmstead and crofter's village across Skyrim. Simple but hearty, it warms the bones and prepares workers for the day's labors, from shopkeeping, to working the fields.[1]:97
Potato Cheddar Soup
Salmon-Millet Soup Soup made from salmon, tomatoes and millet. It is popular in Solitude.[29]
Sun's Dusk Chowder A chowder that originates from Dawnstar.[30] It is made from red meat, pumpkin, and corn.
Vegetable Soup A simple vegetable soup calls for leeks, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, gourds, barley, greens, and broth.[1]:101 Tomatoes are not uncommon in Nordic vegetable soup, which can be simmered over a fire with a variety of greens, (usually onions and leeks).[31]

Drinks[edit]

Name Description Image
Canis Root Tea Tea brewed from canis root that awakens the body and mind. Popular among mages.[1]:181
Ginger Beer A barley beer flavored with ginger root.[32]
Harbinger Lager A barley lager flavored with comberries and guarana.[33]
Mead

Mead (also called Nord Mead, or Honey Wine by the Altmer) is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey and water, alternatively with molasses, and sometimes strained with mashed grains. It is a very popular drink that can be found primarily in the province of Skyrim, but it can also be seen across the continent of Tamriel, as brewing is the basis of any culture. Mead is very popular among the Nords of Solstheim, who usually import it from mainland Skyrim. Meaderies across the provinces have their own ingredients and recipes, mixing in their own spices and fruits like Juniper Berries.

SR-icon-food-HonningbrewMead.png
Red Mountain Flower Tea Tea made from red mountain flowers. Though the flowers are primarily sought out by alchemists, the common folk frequently collect some to brew refreshing tea. Some Nords prefer it unsweetened, and enjoy the tartness the flowers lend to the brew.[1]:183
Riften Rye Rye alcohol flavored with bittergreen and blended with metheglin.[34]
Spiced Cider A hot, non-alcoholic drink made from cinnamon, spices, and the juice of Skyrim's abundant apples. Popular with children, as well as adults with hangovers.[1]:169
Snowberry Cordial An alcoholic beverage derived from snowberries. Easy to make, it is a staple of Nord hospitality, commonly offered to guests and family in small glasses. It's also given as a gift in bottles.[1]:175
Spiced Warm Milk With Honey Milk warmed over a fire with spices and honey. Perfect as a warming drink first thing in the morning or right before bed.[1]:177
Sweet Nog Made from milk, spices, brandy, and eggs. A popular warming drink on homesteads where flocks of chickens provide a steady source of eggs. Foragers may instead use pine thrush eggs, which are harder to find.[1]:179
Water of Life Clear alcohol infused with herbs. Reputed to bring the ill back up to full health, and considered something of a cure-all by many Nords. Every family has their own recipe.[1]:185

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • The Nordic practice of drying unsalted fish to make Stockfish has real-world roots: it is common in Norway, where wooden racks called "hjell" are used to dry fish on the foreshore (a part of the shore that is above water when the tide is low and submerged underwater when the tide is high).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook — Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
  2. ^ Blubber Masher item description in ESO
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Cheeses of SkyrimB.
  4. ^ a b c Nord Cuisine: Sweets EditionGilbard Bacqure
  5. ^ a b Elam Drals dialogue during Dark Brotherhood Contracts in ESO
  6. ^ Solitude Bowl, Mushrooms in ESO
  7. ^ Special Flora of TamrielHardin the Herbalist
  8. ^ Nord Warrior Potato Porridge in ESO
  9. ^ Solitude Drying Rack, Stockfish in ESO
  10. ^ Solitude Tray, Stockfish in ESO
  11. ^ Solitude Meal, Rustic in ESO
  12. ^ Solitude Smoking Rack, Sausage in ESO
  13. ^ Solitude Breakfast, Sausages and Ham in ESO
  14. ^ Solitude Breakfast, Eggs and Ham in ESO
  15. ^ Solitude Breakfast, Full in ESO
  16. ^ Solitude Platter, Ribs in ESO
  17. ^ Falkreath Meat Loaf recipe in ESO
  18. ^ a b Charred Skeever appearance and locations in Skyrim
  19. ^ Charred Skeever Meat food item in Skyrim
  20. ^ Whiterun Cheese-Baked Trout recipe in ESO
  21. ^ Solstheim Elk and Scuttle in ESO
  22. ^ a b c d Nord Cuisine: Savory EditionGilbard Bacqure
  23. ^ a b Cat FoodRigurt the Brash
  24. ^ The Skald-King's Patty Melt recipe in ESO
  25. ^ Seared Slaughterfish With Mammoth Cheese recipe in ESO
  26. ^ Solitude Serving Pot, Hearty Stew in ESO
  27. ^ Solitude Dinner Bowl, Hearty Stew in ESO
  28. ^ Solitude Camping Pot, Fish Stew in ESO
  29. ^ Solitude Salmon-Millet Soup recipe in ESO
  30. ^ Dawnstar Sun's Dusk Chowder recipe in ESO
  31. ^ Solitude Serving Pot, Vegetable Soup in ESO
  32. ^ Palace of Kings Ginger Beer recipe in ESO
  33. ^ Ysgramor's Harbinger Lager recipe in ESO
  34. ^ Riften Rye recipe in ESO