Bucket: "A tip of the bucket once more. It's great to know that the sky isn't falling and it's time to check on the fish that Mulch and I brought in.
The last barrel should still be on our boat unless it grew legs and walked away. Hmm, that's a good idea for my next painting. Could you get the barrel of fish? "
!: "These fish are starting to stink! Take the barrel of fish to Mulch before you pass out from the smell."
Mulch: "Oh dear. I don't like the smell of that barrel, Bucket.
I think that these fish are rotting. Rot is decay that breaks something down until there's nothing left. This happens when tiny creatures, like bacteria, grow and eat away at our fish.
Did you leave the barrel sealed below the deck like I asked? "
Bucket: "Well, I put the barrel in the hold and closed the lid. Then I had a better idea! Why not let the fish enjoy the sun for a while? So I opened it back up and put the barrel in the warmest place I could think of."
Mulch: "Those fish don't like the sun and, more importantly, they're dead. It looks like we may have wasted an entire trip, my faithful friend.
You see, out of the water, bacteria from the air feeds on the outside of the fish. At the same the bacteria in its gut eats the tasty flesh on the inside.
Bacteria grow fast and you need to keep them from spreading. Otherwise, all the fish will get rotten and before you know it they'll smell like my feet after a hard day's yak-milking.
All of Berk relies on our fish and traders come visit us when they're in port. Now that I think about it, I know that our local trader is a sea for long periods of time and he may have an idea for how to save our fish from spoiling. Ask Johann if he has any advice. "
Johann the Trader: "The finest of greetings to you, [your Viking's name]. What can I do for you today?
You've come to the right man. I have been on adventures for months at a time and I need to know all kinds of tricks to protect my food from the elements. If bacteria are the problem then you must simply take steps to remove or minimize their effects...
You should get rid of the areas in the fish where they thrive, like the guts. Also, I advise you to remove as much water as possible so they can't dissolve the food that they use for eneergy and growth. Salt is ideal for this.
I recommend that you ask master Gobber for some fish knives. "
Gobber: "I do so love a good fish gutting. You should be careful with these knives, though. You take one wrong step, and you'll cut your fingers straight off! Then you and I would have matching metal hands."
!: "You should bring those knives carefully to Mulch."
Mulch: "My goodness! Those are terribly sharp so I think we'll handle this part. Eh, Bucket? We'll deal with the bacteria inside the fish by removing the internal organs. It's called "cleaning a fish".
Next we'll need salt to dry these fish out. Salt is hygroscopic, which is a flashy way of saying that it can absorb moisture. The salt will suck the moisture out of the surface of the fish. bacteria need this water for nutrients and they won't spread as easily without it.
I can see a few salt rocks underneath the waterfall over there. Would you chip off 3 bags of salt for us? "
6- Chip off 3 bags of salt from the salt rocks
!: "Click on the barrel of clean fish to sprinkle and rub in he 3 bags of salt over the fish. "
7- Sprinkle 3 bags of salt over the barrel of cleaned fish to preserve it
Mulch: "Great! These fish will be preserved and ready to eat in a day or so. I like salting my fish, but there are many other techniques for preserving food. For instance, I can keep my food in a cold place to slow the growth of bacteria. This is a process called "cooling".
We can put food in an edible, anti-bacterial liquid like vinegar in a process called "pickling". For fruits and vegetables, we can hang them in a very dry place to get rid of all the water inside. This is called "drying".
Our fish look and smell a whole lot better, don't they Bucket? "
Bucket: "Doesn't fish go better with lemon and a side of potatoes? "
Mulch: "Ooh my stomach is growling at the thought, Bucket. But we have to wait for the salt to absorb as much moisture as possible to preserve the fish.
We'll need to get some fresh fish to Berk before more bellies rumble. Bucket, you take some to the stables and I'll bring a few door-to-door.
[Your Viking's name], we'll need you to give these to any dragon who's been waiting for their food. Hiccup asked us to bring hime some fish as soon as we could. Could you give Hiccup a fresh salmon for Toothless? "
Hiccup: "There you are, pal. No I don't want the head.
Dragons eat fresh fish from the water because they have really strong stomachs that can handle all kinds of bacteria. Isn't that right, bud?
Do you have any more? Astrid just got back from one of her long patrols and Stormfly could really use 1 fresh salmon to keep her strength up. "
Astrid: "Good girl, Stormfly. Maybe you can play with Eret later. With any luck, he won't see you coming until it's too late.
I can hear someone's stomach growling from here and you know what that means. Grump, Gobber's Hotburple, must be ready for another meal. You really should give Gobber the last fresh salmon. "
Gobber: "Aye, this will hit the spot. No, it wasn't Grump's stomach bleating. It was mine. I only had three wee lunches today and I'm famished.
It's always good to learn a new food preserving technique and it'll keep us prepared for the difficult months of winter. You're doing a fine job feeding Berk! "