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Food Processing in Ancient Egypt

food processing in ancient egypt

Two of the main drinks in Egypt were wine and beer. To make wine, grapes were harvested off the vine and put into a winepress. Four to six men trampled the grapes, and the liquid drained into vats. After the majority of the juice was squeezed out, the grapes were placed into a cloth sack. The sack was twisted by sticks on either end squeezing out any leftover juice. Once all the juice had been squeezed out, it was placed into clay jars and sealed. A scribe then recorded the amount that was made for an inventory record.


To make beer, barley was moistened with water and then ground and kneaded into dough. The dough was baked into bread. The bread was then soaked in water and left to ferment. Fruits such as dates may have been added at that point to sweeten the mixture. After the mixture fermented, it was filtered by a cloth to remove any lumpy texture and then stored in jars for drink.


Bread was a favored food of the Ancient Egyptians. Barley, emmer (a type of wheat), and spelt were the main grains used in making bread. After the grain crop was cut, it was threshed to remove the outer chaff. After the threshing, the wheat was placed in a bowl and pounded with a tool called a pestle. This made a coarse flour. To make fine-grade flour, the grain was ground between two stones. After this, ingredients were added to make dough that was fried or baked into bread.


Food preparation was done on the floor, since there were no countertops in Egyptian kitchens. Meats were cooked on spits over an open fire. It was not uncommon to roast an entire animal at one time.



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