Ancient Egyptian Foods and Recipes

What Did the Ancient Egyptians Eat?


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The history of ancient Egyptians is always included in school curriculums. Here's information on the diet of the ancient Egyptians.

Many people are surprised to find that a few of the foods ancient Egyptians consumed are still being eaten today! For example, ful medammes, a fava bean dish that is often a breakfast food, is now the National Dish of Egypt and was eaten in the Pharaonic periods. Hummus was also served in ancient Egypt as well.

What the ancient Egyptians ate varied depending on their social and financial status. The more money and power you had, the better you ate.


Several fruits were eaten in ancient Egypt, depending on the period. What was available depended on agriculture and trade. Popular fruits in ancient Egypt include:

  • dates
  • grapes
  • pomegranates
  • peaches
  • watermelon


Several types of meats were eaten, including pork in some regions.

Cattle beef was commonly eaten by the rich, along with sheep or goat, while the poor often ate geese, ducks, and other fowl. Animals that are not considered to be food today were also eaten, such as gazelles and antelopes. Because of religious stigma, many types of seafood were avoided.


Beer was a common beverage and served at meals. It was made from barley and stored in specially made beer jars.

Wine was consumed at meals by the rich. The manner in which wine was made is very similar to how it is made today.

There is evidence of cow milk consumption, but it may have been included in a recipe and not necessarily as a drink.


Bread was a very important part of the ancient Egyptian diet. It differed from the breads we eat today. Bread in ancient Egypt was very hard and gritty, not soft and chewy like we consume today. It was very damaging to their teeth.

There was a wide variety to eat in ancient Egypt. Egyptologists believe that even the poor ate well and few starved.