ANCIENT GREEK FOOD by Michele.

Some of the food, diets, and techniques we have today are very similar to what the Ancient Greek’s ate in their time period. When it comes to ancient Greek Food, their common ways of preparing food is great.

They had many varieties of foods in ancient Greece.The Ancient Greeks also had common foods. In the Greek diet, bread was usually always included. Barley was an essential ingredient in the bread making process. In wealthy families they had slaves to make their bread, but in the less fortunate families the women of the households would make and supply their own bread for the family. Barley was also used in making porridge. In Ancient Greece, there were also towns and villages found close to the sea; fish and seafood in general were very appetizing in the category of popular food. Fish were usually eaten fresh, pickled, or dry, some served on platter dishes decorated with painted fish on it. Olives, along with grapes and cereal, was also an essential ingredient in the Ancient Greek diet. Olives were used to make side dishes and of course, the actual olive oil. O.JPGOut of all the diets available, there were always ones healthier than others. In general, a typical healthy diet would include cereals, veggies, fish, cheese, and more. As for beverages, wine was very popular. Milk from goats was also drunk during the time.Tea and coffee were both not available. Overall, in Ancient Greek times, they had many foods and diets but some were narrowed down to fit the topic of “common”. (University Press Inc.)

In Ancient Greece, the Greeks would have their own unique ways of food preparation. When cooking their cuisines, they did not cook indoors. Instead, they were found cooking outside of their homes usually in central courtyards. Located there would usually be stoves and/or braziers. As far as actually cooking and preparing food, women did all the work. As opposed to men, women were known to be better cooks so it was natural for the women to be nominated to the position of being a cook. Food was prepared in many ways, instead of the machines and technology we have today, the Greeks used their hands, ovens, stove, mills, and more. They definitely did not have all the cooking tools and utensils we have today; the Greeks ate with their hands. One known utensil they had was a ladle, which was used to serve wine and other beverages. barley.JPG The Greeks also used hand-mills, especially when grinding grain and other items. As for baking bread and other relative foods, the Greeks used clay ovens. The Ancient Greeks had many techniques for preparing food from the simplest ways to the more complex recipes. (Senker)

Similar to today, farming has always been a popular way of getting and producing food. In Ancient Greece, farming was the main source for food. In addition, the ancient Greek economy was actually based upon farming. Many of the Greeks had counted on other colonies to import grain in order for the Greeks themselves to survive. Farming, like any other way to prepare food in Ancient Greece, was done by hand, as well as with simple tools. The usual harvest time in farming was around the month of April or May. In the season of Fall, farming was very active for the farmers. Yet, of course, farming does not only mean gathering crops and other food, but also getting such items from animals. For example, sheep and goats were always around to help the farmers in gathering milk and to provide meat. Not only were there sheep and goats, but pigs and chickens were also available. Yet, the pigs and chickens were not as commonly used or seen as opposed to the sheep and goats. In addition, there were also bees there to supply honey. As far as farming goes, it was a chore for many people living in ancient Greece. (Nardo)

Today, many families dine together. Yet, in Ancient Greece, women often dined in separate rooms from the men. Many families usually ate in their private homes, but there were also other places to get together. For example, there were town halls. Although women and men usually ate separately, families can also be noticed eating together at shrines. As for the men, they sometimes held dinner parties for other male friends,and servants usually served them there; their dinner parties were located in dining clubs. These dinner parties were known to be called, “Symposia”. Occasionally when there were festivals and feast days going on, the wealthier women got the chance to get out of the house and mingle with others.(Senker)

In cases of health, the Greeks had their trust based upon magic and rituals involving food. If one were to get sick, they would pray to Asclepius. Asclepius is the god of medicine, by the Greeks; they have stated that the god of medicine would help in times where they needed it; to cure illnesses, and more. GW.JPGWhen food takes a place in their health, doctors would give patients herbal remedies made and found from dry plants. There were also treatments performed for patients involving the key ingredient of cinnamon. It was said that cinnamon was a proven way to kill germs. Of course, with all the popular ways of getting food, doctors and more would get their ingredients quick and easy. In Ancient Greek times there were not many unhealthy or risky foods that could harm ones health. A lot of the foods were stable and good for health, along with a nice, balanced and nutritional diet.(Senker)

As far as how Greeks prepared and got their food, there were many ways. Food traditions were very unique and the typical ways of cooking were basic and simple. Ancient Greek food has always been good health wise, and there should be no other reason not to enjoy their special cuisines.

*Click Here For A Relative Article on Greek Agriculture!*

Works Cited:

“Ancient Greece- Culture & Society”. University Press Inc.. December 2, 2009 <http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/Life/>.
Carr, Karen. “Ancient Greek Food”. December 2, 2009 <http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/greeks/food/greekfood.htm>.
Nardo, Don. Living in Ancient Greece. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004.
Senker, Cath. Everyday Life In Ancient Greece. Florence, Italy: McRae Books Srl, 2001.