What Is the Traditional Food of Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece is renowned for its rich history, art, and culture. One of the most significant aspects of Greek culture is its cuisine.

Greek cuisine has a long and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. In this article, we will explore the traditional food of ancient Greece.

The Basics of Ancient Greek Cuisine

Ancient Greeks had a simple yet wholesome diet. Their food was based on fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and seafood.

Meat was a luxury and was consumed only on special occasions. Olive oil was an essential ingredient in their diet and was used in almost every dish.

The Role of Bread in Ancient Greek Cuisine

Bread was a staple food in ancient Greece. The Greeks made bread from barley or wheat flour mixed with water and baked it in clay ovens. They flavored their bread with herbs like thyme or sesame seeds for added flavor.

Meat in Ancient Greek Cuisine

As mentioned earlier, meat was not a regular part of the ancient Greek diet. However, when they did consume meat, it was usually lamb or goat meat. They cooked meat over an open fire or roasted it on skewers.

Seafood in Ancient Greek Cuisine

Seafood played an important role in ancient Greek cuisine due to its proximity to the sea. The Greeks consumed fish like tuna, mackerel, sardines as well as shellfish like oysters and clams.

Cheese in Ancient Greek Cuisine

Cheese was another essential ingredient in ancient Greek cuisine. Feta cheese is perhaps the most famous type of cheese associated with Greece today. However, other types of cheese like myzithra and anthotyro were also popular during ancient times.

Ancient Greek Meals

The Greeks had three main meals during the day- breakfast (akratisma), lunch (ariston), and dinner (deipnon). Breakfast was typically a light meal comprising of bread, cheese, and sometimes honey.

Lunch was the main meal of the day and consisted of dishes like stews, soups, or roasted meat. Dinner was similar to lunch but was usually a lighter meal.

Ancient Greek Beverages

Wine was an integral part of ancient Greek culture. The Greeks consumed wine with their meals and also used it in religious ceremonies. They made wine from grapes that were grown in vineyards across the country.


In conclusion, ancient Greek cuisine is a fascinating subject that provides insights into the history and culture of Greece. The Greeks had a simple yet wholesome diet that included fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, seafood, and occasional meat.

Bread, cheese, and wine were essential ingredients in their food. Today we still enjoy many of the same dishes that were popular in ancient Greece like moussaka and souvlaki.