Meals for Wealthy Ancient Egyptians
Wealthy people in modern societies can generally afford to eat more lavishly than individuals from other classes, and the same applied to ancient Egypt. Privileged families in ancient Egypt enjoyed a more varied diet than their counterparts with less money. They also ate considerably more meat from various animal sources.
1 Dietary Basics
Food in ancient Egypt was centered heavily around bread, both for impoverished and wealthy people. They typically ate unleavened bread, a type of bread devoid of yeast. Bread made up the bulk of the diet for poor ancient Egyptians. They also drank a lot of beer. People without much money also dined on fresh produce they grew themselves, whether lentils, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, peas or radishes. Poultry and fish were also occasionally part of their diets. Typical sources of poultry were geese, ducks and quails. Wealthy ancient Egyptians had access to all of these things, but were also able to eat much more. In Ancient Egypt, broad food options denoted riches and high status.
2 Meals With Meat
Rich ancient Egyptians had regular access to meat, which was a rarity for others, restricted to once-in-a-while festivities. Some of the many meats the wealthy ate included beef, goat, gazelle, antelope and sheep. Pork was often avoided in ancient Egypt as they believed it to not be a "clean" meat. Much of what wealthy ancient Egyptians ate was imported from other nations, hence the many choices. Dairy products such as cheese, butter and milk were all seen as valuable products.
3 Significant Fruit Intake
Fruit also constituted a big portion of the wealthy ancient Egyptian diet. Melons, dates, figs, grapes and pomegranates were common. They also ate a lot of doum palm fruits. Wealthy ancient Egyptians frequently kept fruit in reed baskets. Their beverage options weren't limited to beer, and they consumed a lot of wine and barley ale, too. Wine was made from palms and grapes.
4 Sweet Treats
Ancient Egyptians also frequently ate desserts, mostly baked items including cakes, sweet breads and pastries. They used either honey or dates to add necessary sweetness to their desserts, as sugar was not yet available to them. Fruit like grapes and figs were also often served as desserts.
5 Extra Flavoring
Wealthy ancient Egyptians ate many sumptuous dinners flavored with various spices and herbs. Some of the spices and herbs used to bring out the taste in ancient Egyptian cuisine were coriander, rosemary, thyme, mint, cumin, dill and cinnamon.
6 Frequency in Eating
Rich ancient Egyptians differed from the poor not only in the broadness of their diets, but also in dining frequency. They generally ate three meals each day -- one in the morning, one at the end of the day and a final one at night. Poor unskilled workers, on the other hand, likely ate just two meals per day.
- 1 Life in Ancient Egypt; Paul Challen
- 2 Ancient Egypt; Suzanne Brown
- 3 Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Superbowl; Melitta Weiss Adamson and Francine Segan
- 4 The Pharaoh's Kitchen; Magda Mehdawy and Amr Hussein
- 5 Ancient Egypt; Ruth Solski
- 6 Ancient Egypt; Liz Gogerly
- 7 Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors; Marian Broida
- 8 Ancient Egypt; Jane Shuter
- 9 Food Culture in the Mediterranean; Carol Helstosky
- 10 Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt; Rosalie David