Food and cooking in ancient egypt
The Pharaohs Kitchen: Recipes From Ancient Egypts Enduring Food Traditions by Magda MehdawyExcellent Sourcebook
I was looking for a book that would give information on the sort of cooking done in Pharaonic times. (I was researching the subject for a piece of writing). While I had information on the sort of ingredients available during that time, I wanted to know how things were made. I came upon this book and another, and I bought both.
The other was a modern, accessible compilation of recipes by a caterer that would allow a modern westerner (western hemisphere, I mean - not Asia, Africa or the middle east) to cook food similar to that served in Egypt. It was nice, but not what I wanted. This book arrived, and it was perfect for me. Methods, ingredients, and informatioan about how the writers (impeccably credentialed) were provided.
This is a research book, not a practical cookbook, though some recipes - egga, for example, or ful medames - would be accessible to one of us.
If you want a cookbook, get the slim volume put out by the British Museum. If you are a researcher, get this one.
Ancient Egyptian Food: Dining Like a Pharoah
In Ancient Egypt, the food and drink people consumed depended on the location - a harsh stretch of land in North-Eastern Africa - and the tools and recipes they had already developed. Nonetheless, cuisine in Ancient Egypt was not much different from the food we eat today. The ancient world was not generally good for the health. People lived much shorter lives and often had access to less nutritious foods. However, the overall prosperity and fertility of Ancient Egypt made it a place of plenty, at least for the wealthy. Had the food not been as rich, the empires would not have lasted as long as they did. Generally speaking, there was a lot of food and drink in Ancient Egypt.
The ancient Egyptians enjoyed a variety of foods, not unlike what we enjoy today. Nevertheless, compared to many other ancient civilizations, the ancient Egyptians had access to better foods. The Nile River provided irrigation for crops and water for livestock. Generally speaking, bread and beer were the staples of ancient Egyptian cuisine. Fruits, vegetables, and fish were commonly eaten by the poor, while meat and poultry were more often eaten by the rich. Bread and beer were the two staple products of ancient Egyptian cuisine.
When you look at the country of Egypt, you see large areas of dry hot desert. The Egyptians did have one thing going for them: The River Nile. Each year, the river would flood, covering areas with rich thick silt and mud. This was necessary for them because it brought fertilizers to the land. The Nile water was used for the water needed for farmlands, and this meant that the ancient Egyptians had a lot of food to grow and eat. Evidence from pictures and hieroglyphs show that Egyptians used their farmland to grow a number of crops. The most important was wheat.
9. Milk and Other Dairy Products
Pharaoh wanted his people to eat well. Except for a few sacred animals, there was nothing to stop the people from gathering and growing food. No one went hungry in ancient Egypt. Food was roasted and boiled, and fried and dried, and baked and blended. They had plenty of fresh food to keep them healthy thanks to the Nile River. The Nile flows north to the Mediterranean.
The cuisine of ancient Egypt covers a span of over three thousand years, but still retained many consistent traits until well into Greco-Roman times. The staples of both poor and wealthy Egyptians were bread and beer , often accompanied by green-shooted onions , other vegetables , and to a lesser extent meat , game and fish. Depictions of banquets can be found in paintings from both the Old Kingdom and New Kingdom. They usually started sometime in the afternoon. Men and women were separated unless they were married. Seating varied according to social status , with those of the highest status sitting on chairs, those slightly lower sat on stools and those lowest in rank sat on the raw floor.