The nutrition of the Ancient Greeks
First of all we have to mention that unlike today the Ancient Greeks used to start their day with a very light meal which included a slice of barley bread dipped in wine without water along with olives and figs. Another common breakfast was’’kikeonas’’( κυκέωνας), a beverage which was made of boiled barley and it was flavored with mint or thyme. It was believed that it had healing powers.
During the lunch they used to eat fish, legumes, bread, eggs, olives, nuts, cheese and fruits. Another big difference between today and Ancient Greece was the dinner. It was the most important and the largest meal of the day. It was accompanied by desserts which were called ‘’tragimata’’( τραγήματα) and they included fresh fruits,mainly figs, nuts, grapes or honey sweets. The Ancient Greeks also preferred pork and beef than goat and lamb meat. They also liked snails.
Although the fruits had a very important position in their nutrition there was no such a variety as today. There weren’t fruits like oranges,mandarins, bananas etc. but there was a very big demand for pears, apples, figs, cherries etc.. The Athenians used to cultivate vegetables in their gardens. The shelves of an Ancient Greek kitchen were always filled with a lot of spices and condiments such as oregano, basil, mint, thyme, cardamom.
Most of the meals were very light as long as they were baked in the oven. The sweets were also light because there were no sugar and cocoa. Every meal was accompanied by wine and of course olive oil( It was the gift of the Goddess Athena).
In conclusion, we have to say that the nutrition of the Ancient Greeks was pretty much light. It included a lot of meals during the day. They were consuming a big variety of fruits but in small quantities. Finally, the most hardcore Greeks were the Spartans. Even in their nutrition there was the Laconic austerity. Their daily nutrition included a cup of black broth( μέλανας ζωμός) and a slice of bread and in special occasions boiled pork, wine and cake.