Food in Ancient Greece
Food, for people in Ancient Greece, was what separated people from animals, and from the gods. Gods didn't need to eat, and people did. Animals ate their food raw, but people cooked their food and were civilized. Civilized Greek people only ate fresh meat if it had been sacrificed to a god, or had been hunted in the wild. People thought of the god Dionysos as being part of the wine they drank, and they thought of Persephone as being part of their bread.
Bread and wine, with olive oil, made up most of what people ate in Ancient Greece. They liked cheese when they could get it. People also ate a lot of vegetables, especially lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and other beans. They also ate cabbage, parsnips and onions, garlic and leeks. They ate apples, figs, and almonds. Greek people probably didn't have chickens, or chicken eggs, until around 500 BC - so when Socrates says to sacrifice a rooster to Asclepius, he's thinking of something new and cool. Possibly Greek people ate more fish than most other Mediterranean people. Most people only had meat on holidays. This was a very healthy diet! But people still liked cakes with honey, and yogurt with honey and walnuts in it, for dessert.
Learn by doing - a Greek feast
A project with figs
Making lentil soup
Making baked apples
To find out more about food in ancient Greece, check out these books from Amazon or from your local library:
Food and Feasts in Ancient Greece, by Imogen Dawson (1995). For kids - both a general discussion of how food was used in Ancient Greece, and some recipes.
Spend the Day in Ancient Greece : Projects and Activities that Bring the Past to Life, by Linda Honan (1998). Also for kids, with recipes for a Greek feast.
Food in the Ancient World A-Z, by Andrew Dalby (2003). Not a kids' book, but pretty easy going.
A project with
Kidipede - History for Kids home page