Time Voyager


The Egyptian Diet

Created by: Gabrielle Peek (SmartArt)


Beer was a major staple in Old Kingdom Egypt. It was the preferred drink of all classes and people, even kids.  Beer was so important to the daily lives of Egyptians that it was used to pay wage workers. These workers often were paid two jugs of beer per day; each jug was around two liters. Beer was the drink of choice of Egyptians because it was healthier than the polluted water taken from the rivers. There is evidence to suggest that beer was a nutritious drink, rather than an intoxicating drink. It was thick and sweet, leading them to get more nutrients in a shorter amount of time. However, it was used in festivals to get intoxicated.

To make beer, wheat, millet, and barely was ground into a coarse powder. One quarter of that was soaked and left in the sun while the rest was made into bread. Then, it was crumbled into the bread and mixed with the soaked grain. Water was added to a little bit of beer, and left to ferment. After fermentation is complete, the liquid was strained. Lastly, a flavoring agent was added, often dates, instead of the modern day use of herbs and hops.


In Egypt, the land was so fertile, other cultures envied the ease of production of agriculture there. This caused invasion and infiltration during times of famine as foreign shepherds led their flocks into Egypt. Gleaners were allowed to pick up any dropped, or purposefully left grain. Because of a reliable flood season for the Nile, the soil was fertile. Barley and Flax were harvested in the fall. Barley was reaped with a sickle of a wooden handle and flint blade, which was beveled and serrated. A pair of reapers held the straw and cut it below the head. Only the vital part of the barley was taken to the threshing floor. Although some meat was consumed, most of the food in Egypt was grain. These grains were made into bread and cakes and sold or bartered at market booths.


Egyptians ate a large variety of fruit. Most notably, they grew a lot of grapes to produce wine for festive celebrations. The first white wine was actually made in Egypt for their religious celebrations. Along with grapes, Egyptians ate fruits, such as melons figs, dates, plums, pomegranates, as well as, olives and walnuts. This was a very important way to acquire needed sugars. Because access to fruits was scarce, they also used honey to sweeten things. Fruit was not the main staple in ancient Egypt because the land was not suitable. They relied more upon hearty crops to make things like bread that could be stored longer and was easier to transport.