What Did People Eat in Ancient Egypt?
Explains the different kinds of fare in the Egyptian diet.
The ancient Egyptians had a vast array of food items to choose from. In fact, being slightly overweight in this culture was actually a sign of wealth. If a person ate well it meant they were well off in society and could afford to purchase pricey food items. Servants were usually served rations of beer, cheese and wine. Meat was highly prized. The Pharaoh and his court usually dined on large quantities of food every night in a banquet hall setting complete with music, dancers and sometimes even acrobats. The Egyptians ate beef, deer, goat, duck and goose, but they did not eat pork for cultural reasons. Dates were a favorite among children because of their sweet flavor and date wine was also consumed. Beer was one of the main staples of the Egyptian diet. It has even been thought that was the reason the Egyptians began harvesting grain in the first place. Other foods included: lentils, leeks, melon, every class had access to fish such as mullet from the Nile, chick peas, lettuce, garlic, onions, pomegranates, plums, and grapes. They also used several spices, such as dill, fennel, cumin, coriander as well as cooking oils.
Fun fact: The Egyptians used stone grinders to grind the grain when making flour for bread. Tiny fragments of the stone were ground into the wheat and baked into the bread. Archaeologists have found that this cause serious damage to the teeth of the ancient Egyptians. Since bread was a staple to the Egyptians, it was almost as if they were slowly grinding their teeth away using a fine sandpaper while chewing their bread. Think about that the next time you have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!