Ancient Egyptian Food Facts: What Did the Ancient Egyptians Eat?

If you’ve ever wanted to know what the Ancient Egyptians ate and drank, the facts below should give you all the information you need.

Facts About Ancient Egyptian Food and Drink

  • Ancient Egypt was mostly desert, but the yearly Nile floods made farming possible. The Nile deposited fertile black mud onto the land surrounding the river, allowing the Ancient Egyptians to grow barley and emmer wheat. These were made into a range of different breads and beer.
  • The bread made by the Ancient Egyptians was tough and coarse. The flour often contained grit from the grinding process.
  • The beer drunk by the Ancient Egyptians was much thicker than the beers drunk today. In fact, it was so dense and lumpy that it had to be strained before drinking.
  • In addition to cereal crops (barley), the farmers of Ancient Egypt also grew lots of different types of fruit and vegetables, such as: onions, leeks, beans, lentils, garlic, lettuce, turnips, dates, figs, cucumber, melons, grapes and pomegranates.
  • Some of their fruit was eaten fresh at harvest time, some of it was dried to preserve it, and some was added to their cakes to give them added sweetness.
  • Grapes, both red and white, mainly grown in the north of Ancient Egypt, were turned into wine or dried as raisins.
  • The Ancient Egyptians ate a lot of fish from the River Nile, and they also hunted ducks, geese, desert hares, oryx (a type of large antelope) and gazelle.
  • They kept pigs, sheep, goats and oxen for their meat.
  • Bees were kept by the Ancient Egyptians in pottery hives. The honey they collected was often used by Ancient Egyptian bakers in cakes and pastries.
  • Although the Ancient Egyptians ate a balanced diet, they did not eat any citrus fruits.
  • Ostrich eggs were considered a delicacy.
  • Cutlery wasn’t used in Ancient Egypt.


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