What Did Germans Eat in Ancient Times?

Germany is a country that has been inhabited for thousands of years, and through the centuries, its cuisine has evolved. In ancient times, Germans had a very different diet than the modern German diet. Here’s a look at what Germans ate in ancient times.

The Prehistoric Era

During the prehistoric era, Germans were hunter-gatherers. They relied on hunting wild animals and gathering berries, nuts, and wild grains for sustenance.

The diet was high in protein and fat from meat and low in carbohydrates. Fish was also a significant part of their diet.

The Roman Era

When the Romans invaded Germany in 55 BC, they introduced new foods to the Germans. The Romans brought with them grapes, olives, figs, and other Mediterranean foodstuffs that were previously unknown to the Germans. However, the Germanic tribes did not adopt these new foods immediately; instead, they incorporated them into their traditional cuisine.

The Viking Era

During the Viking era (800-1050 AD), meat was a staple food for Germans. They ate beef, pork, lamb, and game meat such as deer and elk.

Dairy products such as cheese and butter were also commonly consumed. Vegetables were not as prevalent in their diet as they are today.

The Medieval Era

In the medieval era (1050-1500 AD), German cuisine became more refined due to influence from other European countries such as France and Italy. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg were introduced to add flavor to dishes.


In conclusion, German cuisine has come a long way since ancient times. From a hunter-gatherer diet to modern-day schnitzel and sauerkraut dishes – German cuisine has evolved significantly over time.

Nevertheless, it is still possible to find traditional German dishes that date back to ancient times in modern German cuisine. If you ever travel to Germany, be sure to try some of their traditional dishes such as sauerbraten, bratwurst, and spƤtzle.