What did ancient Greeks eat? What do we know about ancient Greek food?
Ancient Greek food is intimately connected with the ancient Greek culture and the philosophy of nutrition. Its main feature is the use of a large number of products that normalize blood sugar levels and do not interfere with metabolic processes that cause an increase in body weight. That is why Greeks differ in harmony and beauty of the body regardless of age. In the national cuisine of Greece, people widely use refined olive oil and fresh olives for cooking first and second courses. In ancient times, olives were preserved with the help of sea salt; pre-refined wine vinegar, spices, and fragrant herbs were also added in the brine for olives preservation.
During a trip to Greece, you can set a goal and explore different varieties of olive oil produced in different regions of the country. The taste of them will not be the same, and the dishes in the different areas differ not only in taste but also in flavor. Throughout Greece, for a long time vegetable oil has been produced using the cold-pressed method. The local citizens state that this way you can get the best quality olive oil.
White bread as one of the most common ancient Greek food
In all times on the whole peninsula, the most expensive ancient Greek food was white bread. Even Homer compared wheatear with the human brain, using as a subtext of the great importance of this product in people’s live. The ancient Greeks always ate food with bread and considered a meal without white or gray bread as a crime against the gods. That is why bakers baked a lot of dough, using wheat and barley flour. Especially the Greeks loved to pamper themselves on holidays with bakery products. To make sweets different from lean baking, they added fat, honey and goat’s milk.
White bread from a well-fermented dough was first produced in Greece in about V-IV c. BC. In his writings, Homer, who described the meal in his poems, spoke of bread as a dish that was used only by wealthy people. In those ancient times at the feasts, there were only two dishes: roasted on a spit a large piece of meat (most often lamb) and white bread, which was given the dominant role. Still, they ate these meals separately, which today can be considered as the first attempt to use a separate food diet in the culture of food consumption. By the amount of white bread on the table, they judged the welfare of the owner of the house. The more bread the master had, the better.
Since ancient times, the Greeks considered as an inadmissible luxury to cut lambs daily, because they gave valuable milk and wool. Dishes of non-fat mutton and poultry Greeks cooked only on special occasions and treated friends and acquaintances to them.
The Greeks drank only wine in ancient times, diluting it with drinking water, most often adhered to a 1:2 ratios. Honey was used usually as a sweetener for drinks and sweet dishes.