Ancient Egyptians used their hands and quern grinding stone to grind grains like wheat. These people had no other tool but a grinding stone to make wheat flour as well as other types of spices. The mortar and pestle were also in use back then. Mostly women were the ones who did the grinding job as this was a homely affair. However, the richer households employed slave girls or maids to do the job of grinding. If you see the image shown above, you will notice that a woman tackled this messy task by kneeling almost completely over the quern while using the pestle to grind every bit of the grain.
7. Wine was a much loved Beverage in ancient Egypt
Among all other kinds of beverages, wine was considered to be the most coveted. Around 3000 BC, wine makers fermented the wine using yeast and figs were used for sweetening it. The species used for making wine were Vitis vinifera that was cultivated largely. It was a common practice to carry wine jars to the tombs of the dead so that souls of the deceased could have a feast in afterlife too. Many excavations have hinted that tombs had a prescribed number of wine jars that could be kept inside. From one of the best preserved manuscripts, it was found that Ramses III presented a total of 59,588 wine jars to the ancient Egyptian God Amun. Ancient Egyptians got their best wines from oasis at Bahariya as well as from Jordan Valley.
8. Wine was made by stepping on a trough filled with grapes
It may sound unhygienic and pretty gross when you come to know that ancient Egyptians drank wine that was processed by stepping over grapes in a trough. Yes, this was how wine was made in early Egypt. Men would collect and gather locally available grapes in a large trough. Then, they would step inside it and start grinding the grapes with their feet. This practice is still in use in European countries where women and men take part in wine making competitions. After the juice was extracted, it would then be poured in a clay pot that would bear the date it was processed as well as the vineyard producing it.
Like wine connoisseurs of today, in ancient Egypt there were specially skilled wine tasters in a pharaoh’s court. Their task was to taste the wine and select the best for the king. However, wine was a commodity of luxury preserved for the rich.
9. The ancient Egyptians used food seasoning and additives
Ancient Egyptian food was deliciously prepared because we have illustrations and accounts that hint towards using different flavors as seasoning. Food was prepared and then was seasoned with different kinds of herbs and spices. Mostly all food was seasoned with olive oil or oil from veggies like castor, flax seeds, sesame and radish seed. Olive was primarily grown all over the region and was therefore the best choice for seasoning. Apart from oil, other additives used were cinnamon, coriander, pepper, mustard, salt and cumin. For sweetening, Egyptians used dates and figs as sugar was not in the picture those times.
10. Vegetables were consumed as complements to meat and bread
Ancient Egyptian lands were very fertile because of the over flooded Nile basin that rendered the lands fertile. Farmers cultivated grains and vegetables abundantly and hence, it was a daily ritual to include different kinds of veggies in the diet. Egyptian folks consumed lentils, turnips, radishes, onions and garlic as complementary accompaniments. Both the rich as well as the poor consumed vegetables. Unlike meat, veggies were grown regionally and were never in shortage. This made eating these affordable. Vegetables like onion and purple peas originated in Egypt. Some of these veggies were believed to have aphrodisiac properties and were consumed for better sexual performance.