What Did Ancient Egyptians Eat?


Quick Answer

The primary staples in the diet of ancient Egyptians were dried fish, various vegetables, bread, beer and sometimes wine. Only the wealthy generally ate meat, but the general population also ate it on occasions of celebration.

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Full Answer

The wealthiest ancient Egyptians ate the general staples, as well as certain meats and fruits. Hunting for game was as a sport of leisure for the wealthy, but it also provided an additional food source for those of lower classes. The primary meat consumed by ancient Egyptians was fowl. However, they rarely consumed eggs from fowl they kept for meat. When they did eat eggs, they were eggs from wild birds.

Scholars believe that only the priests, who made animal sacrifices to the gods, ate beef. Eating pork was considered unclean among much of the upper class, even though it was still a popular meat source for lower classes in the society. Similarly, there were some members of upper-class ancient Egyptians who considered fish to be an unclean source of meat.

Ancient Egyptians used spices such as salt, oil, garlic, radishes and onions when they prepared their food. Knowledge of how they prepared their food is uncertain, but it is known that they boiled, stewed, roasted, grilled and fried their foods.

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