Posted on 22nd December 2020
Most people in Ancient Egypt were farmers, and the annual flooding of the river Nile meant there was rich and fertile soil for them to work with.
The land and the climate were perfect for growing fruit and vegetables; therefore, food was never scarce in Egypt, even for peasants and slaves.
The most important crops grown were wheat and barley; wheat grown to make bread and barley grown to make beer, as fresh water was scarce and water from the Nile was diseased.
Bread was the staple diet eaten by all, rich and poor, often sweetened with dates, figs and honey.
A vast array of food was grown in Egypt including:
Radishes and Onions
Turnips and Leeks
Grapes and Plums
Dates and Figs
The reeds on the edge of the Nile were good hunting ground for birds, and Egyptians ate goose, duck, crane, heron and pigeon.
Fish were also plentiful in the Nile, and they were salted and dried in the sun to preserve them.
Cattle and chickens were kept on the farms to produce milk, cheese and eggs, wild bird eggs were also eaten. Pigs, sheep and cattle produced mutton, pork and beef, hedgehogs and mice were also eaten.
Meat was expensive, so much of it was only available to the wealthy. The poor lived mainly on fish, vegetables and bread. They also ate fruit, but some fruit such as melons, apricots and pomegranates were too expensive for them.
Egyptians loved garlic and flavoured their meals with it. Food was mainly boiled, though also roasted, fried and baked.
Meat and vegetables were often cooked as a stew in clay pots using wooden utensils. Lentils were added to thicken the stew.
Egyptians ate with their fingers; the wealthy sat at tables and the poor ate sitting on the floor.
Tagged as: Junior Ancient Egypt
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