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Foods and Culture

Post  AgathonZante on Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:25 pm

What were some general foods of the average citizen in the Classical Greek Polis?

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Re: Foods and Culture

Post  Erodius on Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:13 pm

AgathonZante wrote:What were some general foods of the average citizen in the Classical Greek Polis?

The average person's diet would have been simple and highly repetitive. It's fairly likely that most people ate essentially the same things every day for most of their lives: bread (coarse, and generally unleavened until the Roman period, which was often dipped into something (often wine or stew) to soften it and to act as an eating utensil), cheese (generally simple and unaged for most people, akin to what we'd call ricotta or fresh mozzarella), olives, dried fruits and nuts, boiled vegetables and beans, and whatever was available from the fish market if you had enough money. Poultry (chicken and duck) was available, and people in more rural areas would have likely had hunters around who might have sold wild game (the Greeks and Romans, in addition to typical catches, ate as game various animals that are generally not hunted for food anymore in western cultures, like squirrels, polecats, and songbirds). Sheep and goats were eaten, and pork and beef likewise, though these were usually only available after sacrifices; purchasing a sheep/pig/goat would equate to an expense of several hundred dollars in equivalent modern currency, while buying a cow would have been on the order of buying a car today.

For probably most of the population, a meal was bread, maybe dressed up with oil, soft cheese and/or salt, wine, boiled greens and chickpeas, and perhaps fish a few times a week.

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