What Food Was Eaten in Ancient Times?

Food is an essential part of our daily lives, and it has been so for thousands of years. The history of food is fascinating, and it’s interesting to see how people’s eating habits have evolved over time. In this article, we’ll explore what food was eaten in ancient times.

Ancient Times – What Does That Mean?

When we refer to ancient times, we are typically talking about the period before the Middle Ages. This covers a vast timeline that includes several civilizations and cultures across the world. It’s essential to note that different regions had different food habits and availability based on their geographical location and availability of resources.

What Did Ancient People Eat?

Ancient people ate what was available to them, which primarily included grains, fruits, and vegetables. Meat was a luxury item that was only consumed by the wealthy or during special occasions. Here are some specific examples:

Ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians’ diet primarily consisted of grains like barley and wheat, as well as vegetables like onions, leeks, garlic, and cucumbers. They also consumed fruits like dates and figs. Meat was reserved for special occasions like festivals or funerals.

Ancient Greeks

The ancient Greeks’ diet included grains like barley and wheat as well as vegetables like cabbage, onions, garlic, lentils, and beans. They also ate fruits like grapes, figs, apples, and pomegranates. Meat was typically consumed during religious festivals or special occasions.

Ancient Romans

The ancient Romans’ diet included grains like wheat and barley as well as vegetables like beans, lentils, onions, garlics, leeks & carrots. They enjoyed fruits such as apples & cherries too! Meat was a staple in their diet; they consumed pork more than any other meat.

Cooking Techniques in Ancient Times

Cooking techniques in ancient times were quite different from what we use today. The primary method of cooking was roasting over an open fire, and boiling was also common. In some cultures, fermentation was used to preserve food, such as pickling vegetables or making cheese.


In conclusion, the food habits of people in ancient times were quite different from what we see today. Grains, fruits, and vegetables were the primary source of food, with meat being a luxury item.

Cooking techniques were also quite primitive compared to modern-day methods. However, it’s fascinating to see how far we have come in terms of food and cooking.