Pike in Viking Cork?

Published in Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 2011), Letters, Vikings, Volume 19

83_small_1295791277Sir,—I read with delight the article ‘Viking Cork’ by Henry A. Jefferies (HI 18.6, Nov./Dec. 2010) and note with interest his quotation, attributed to Deborah Sutton, that ‘We think the people here ate hake and pike . . .’. It seems that excavations of Viking Cork carried out by Deborah and Máire Ní Loingsigh revealed artefacts from c. 1100 onwards, which included ‘many fish bones and scales’.

If, indeed, this quotation does refer to actual pike bones, then the culinary delights of these early Viking Corkonians were surely inspirational. According to the official mantra regurgitated on many occasions, pike were first introduced to this country by Norman monks in the fourteenth century. I always suspected that Cork people were ahead of their time!—Yours etc.,

PEADAR O’DOWD Galway

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