What Did People Eat During Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered what people ate during ancient times? Food is an essential part of human survival and has played a significant role in shaping our history.

Ancient people had limited resources and technology, which affected their diets. In this article, we will explore what ancient people ate and how they prepared their meals.

Ancient Egyptian Cuisine

The ancient Egyptians were known for their advanced civilization, architecture, and art. Their cuisine was no exception.

The Nile River played a crucial role in supplying the Egyptians with fish, which made up a significant portion of their diet. They also raised cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs for meat.

Bread was a staple food in ancient Egypt and was consumed at every meal. It was made from barley or emmer wheat flour and baked in mud ovens. Vegetables like onions, leeks, garlic, beans, and lentils were also commonly consumed.

Ancient Greek Cuisine

The ancient Greeks were renowned for their philosophy, democracy, and literature. Their cuisine was simple but nutritious. The Greeks relied heavily on grains like barley, wheat, and oats to make bread and porridge.

Olives were another important food source for the Greeks as they grew abundantly in the Mediterranean region. They also ate cheese made from goat’s milk along with fruits such as figs, grapes, pomegranates and apples.

Ancient Roman Cuisine

The ancient Romans were known for their vast empire that spanned across Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. Their cuisine was influenced by the many cultures they conquered.

Romans loved meat dishes such as beef steak or roast pork accompanied by vegetables like cabbage or carrots. They also enjoyed seafood such as oysters or mussels caught from the coastal regions.

Ancient Chinese Cuisine

Chinese cuisine has a long history that spans over 5000 years. The Chinese believed in balancing the Yin and Yang in their diet to maintain a healthy body. Rice was the staple food, and it was eaten with various dishes such as stir-fried vegetables, tofu, and meat.

The Chinese also enjoyed tea, which was considered a medicinal drink. They used herbs like ginseng and ginger to flavor their dishes and promote good health.

Ancient Indian Cuisine

Indian cuisine is known for its spices and flavors. The ancient Indians were vegetarian and ate a lot of dairy products like milk, yogurt, and ghee. They grew crops such as rice, wheat, lentils, chickpeas, and beans.

They also used spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves to flavor their dishes. Indian cuisine has evolved over the years with influences from the Mughals and various other cultures that came to India.


In conclusion, ancient people had limited resources but made the best of what they had. Their cuisine was simple yet nutritious.

It’s fascinating to see how different cultures around the world have influenced each other’s diets over time. We can learn a lot about our history by studying what our ancestors ate.