Fish played an important role in medieval Europe. It formed the basis of a food culture influenced by Catholicism and was a central commodity in the national and international network of trade. Fish of all sorts held a prominent position on the dining tables of peasants as well as kings. Household accounts and medieval recipes and descriptions of dinners give us a glimpse of a variety of fresh, salted, air-dried and smoked fish and ways of preparing and serving them. The archaeological evidence from excavations on monasteries and castles, in towns and villages support this picture of variety and fish trade, and it furthermore adds knowledge on the industry of salting and gilling herring as well as the less well-know local fishing. The famous salted herring from the autumn market at Scania in the eastern part of Denmark was an expensive high quality product developed by Lübeck and an important commodity at the international market. The cheap herring from the local markets in the Limfjord supplied the national as well as the international market in the spring in a period with poor food supply generally. Also substantial was the North Sea fishing on herring, whiting and flatfish off the west coast of Jutland, in the 15th-16th centuries as significant as the one in Scania.
Processing, Storage, Distribution of Food. Food in the Medieval Rural Environment. Ruralia Viii, 2011, p. 213-218