Food in Ancient Greece
The Greek diet consisted of foods that were easily raised in the rocky terrain of Greece’s landscape. Breakfast was eaten just after sunrise and consisted of bread dipped in wine. Lunch was again bread dipped in wine along with some olives, figs, cheese or dried fish.
Supper was the main meal of each day. It was eaten near sunset. It consisted of vegetables, fruit, fish, and possibly honey cakes. Sugar was unknown to ancient Greeks, so natural honey was used as a sweetener.
Fish was the main source of protein in the Greek diet. Beef was very expensive, so it was rarely eaten. Beef and pork were only available to poor people during religious festivals. It was during the festivals that cows or pigs were sacrificed to the gods, and the meat was cooked and handed out to the public.
Wine was the main drink in ancient Greece. It was watered down; to drink it straight was considered barbaric. Milk was rarely drunk, because again, it was considered barbaric. Milk was used for cheese production. Water was another possible choice as a drink.
The Greeks did not have any eating utensils, so they ate with their hands. Bread was often used to scoop out thick soups. Bread was also used as a napkin to clean hands. After being used as a napkin, the bread was then thrown on the floor for the dogs or slaves to clean up at a later time.
Men often gathered for dinner parties called symposiums. Having guests in the house was a “male-only” affair. Women of the house were not permitted to attend. After giving a wine offering to the gods, the men drank and talked about politics or morals. Often young girls and boys would be employed to entertain guests with music and dance.