What type of food did the Ancient Greeks eat?- And why.

September 21, 2017

Olive oil

In 3500 BC, the first cultivation of olive tree in history took place in Crete, Greece. But it was not only after 2000 BC when olive oil became one of the most important foods for Greeks. Nature endowed the Greek land with unique privileges in terms olive oil quality. And in turn, Ancient Greeks created a long-lasting tradition and know how, to always get the best out of it.

Olive Oil was extensively used in cooking due to its nutritional value. For instance, Greeks added olive oil in their breakfast. They used to have 'teganites' (similar to our pancakes) made with wheat flour, olive oil, honey and milk, typically topped with pure honey or cheese.

 

Honey

Early thinkers like Homer, Pythagoras, Democritus, Hippocrates mentioned that people ought to eat honey to boost their health and vigour.

Honey was the main sweetener for their desserts because Ancient Greeks were unfamiliar with raw sugar. Also, it was used for lots of medicinal syrups, pills and jams.

 

Meals

In contrast to other nations, Greeks have always attributed more importance to dinner than to lunch. Olives, bread, fish and seafood, cheese, grapes, wheat, cereals, legumes and vegetables were the most popular foods. Seasonings like oregano were adding taste to their dishes.

Meat was meant to be consumed by the rich citizens. Tomatoes, bananas, peppers and rice were not part of the Ancient Greek diet because they were not available to them. They arrived from America in much later time.

 

Wine

If you are wondering about the drinks preferred, wine was the king! It was mixed with water and was preferred compared to water, albeit getting drunk was not the purpose. Pure pleasure was the purpose of consuming wine since it was considered as a gift from the god of wine and merry-making, Dionysus.

 

 

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