Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Ancient Greek Cuisine – Vegetables,Fruit,Seasonings

Another difference that distinguishes the ancient Greek diet from that of Northern Europeans was the consumption of vegetables and fruit in vast quantities. In fact, certain ancient Greeks, such as Plato, Callimachus and the Pythagoreans, strongly advocated vegetarianism.

Certainly, the fruit and vegetables consumed by the ancient Greeks were not the same as those avialable in the market. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and corn, as well as oranges, mandarins, bananas and other tropical fruits were unheard of in antiquity. The ancient vegetarian diet, however, included cucumbers, artichokes, peas, amaranth, gourds, broad beans, turnip, onions, cabbage, horseweed, mushrooms, lettuce, mallow, beetroot, leeks, radishes, garlic, mountain spinach, mustard, asparagus, nettles, and others such a celery, carrots, ect, from which only the leaves were eaten, not the roots.

Seasonings, herbs and spices known and utilized by Greeks included: dill, basil, mint, savory, thyme, caper, cress, galingale, (cyperus), coriander, rue (Ruta graveolens) , pine nuts, cumin, fennel, myrrh, chicory, oregano, sesame, mustard, ect. This array of domestic seasonings was complemented by importations such as pepper and silphium (a plant of medicinal powers indigenous to Cyrenaica (Libya), now extinct) – salt and vinegar.

The prevailing range of edible fruit encompassed wild and cultivated pears, plums, cherries, arbutus berries, quince, apples, medlars (loquat), mulberries and blackberries, melons, pomegranates, and the two most highly valued fruits of the Mediterranean in antiquity: grapes and figs. Peaches were later added to the diet.

Among dried fruits were almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, raisins and dried figs.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *