Ancient Egypt VI: Ancient Egyptian cuisine
By: Rana Atef
Thu, Dec. 7, 2017
CAIRO – 7 December 2017: Even today, Ancient Egyptians captivate the minds of people around the globe because of their extraordinary contributions to civilization. Egypt Today presents the top facts about Ancient Egyptian cuisine.
Bread as main element on the table
The strong presence of bread in Egyptian cuisine nowadays is in fact inherited from our ancient Egyptian ancestors. Ancient Egyptians baked bread from different kinds of flour, mainly with barley or wheat.Bread was a staple for both the poor and the rich; bread was often sweetened with honey or dates, or flavored with sesame, aniseed or fruit, according to "Ancient Egyptian Food" article published on Tour Egypt website and written by researchers Jimmy Dunn and Sarah Phillips.
Wine in ancient Egypt
Due to the fertility of the Nile Delta's soil, Egypt witnessed an impressive diversity in crops. They also managed to extract different juices and syrups from fruits.
Evidence shows that they made beer from barley, and beer was mainly drunk by the lower classes while grape wine was produced for the higher social classes.
Vegetables and fruits
According to the iconic Greek historian Herodotus, ancient Egyptians made use of the lands of Kemet, the ancient name for Egypt's lands. Ancient Egyptians planted many kinds of vegetables to use them in different cooking processes like beans, chickpeas, lentils, green peas, garlic, lettuce and onions. Many Egyptians used onions and garlic as treatments for many diseases.
Moreover, the different social classes counted on dates as a sweetener; whereas noble classes sometimes had additional sources like honey, according to "Life of the Ancient Egyptians" book by Czech author Eugen Strouhal.
Meat, fish and poultry
Unfortunately, meat was only available for the tables of the higher classes; they would get it from different sources like cows, goats, and sheep. They also ate certain kinds of fish like perch, catfish, and mullet. In terms of poultry, they would often cook ducks. While most of the time lower classes counted on fish and poultry, ancient Egyptians are considered one of the first civilizations that managed to make salted fish especially during the spring fest, "Sham Al Nasim."
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