What Was the Main Source of Food in Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece is known for its incredible contributions to philosophy, art, and science. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is their cuisine. The Greeks had a rich and diverse diet that was heavily influenced by the land and sea surrounding them.

The Main Source of Food

The main source of food in Ancient Greece was undoubtedly agriculture. Farmers cultivated a variety of crops such as wheat, barley, grapes, and olives. These crops formed the basis for most Greek meals and were often used to make bread, wine, and olive oil.


While meat was not as common in the Ancient Greek diet as it is today, it still played an important role in their cuisine. Animals such as sheep and goats were raised for their meat and milk. However, due to the cost of raising these animals, meat was often reserved for special occasions or for the wealthy.


Given that Ancient Greece was surrounded by water on three sides, seafood naturally played a significant role in their diet. Fish such as sardines, mackerel, and tuna were commonly eaten along with shellfish like oysters and clams.

Dairy Products

Dairy products were also a common part of the Ancient Greek diet. Cheese made from sheep or goat milk was popular and used in many dishes. Yogurt was also consumed regularly.

The Importance of Spices

While Ancient Greek cuisine may seem simple by modern standards, spices played a crucial role in adding flavor to their meals. Herbs like oregano, thyme, and mint were commonly used along with spices like cinnamon and cumin.

In Conclusion

In summary, agriculture formed the backbone of Ancient Greek cuisine with crops like wheat and barley being staples in their diet. Meat was reserved for special occasions while seafood was a common part of their meals.

Dairy products like cheese and yogurt were also consumed regularly. Finally, spices played a crucial role in adding flavor and variety to their meals.