Ancient Egyptian Food Overview
Many tourists who travel to Egypt are keen to know more about the lives of the Pharaohs. They are interested to understand more about their lifestyles and habits. Food is among the most important elements of anyone’s life. The same applies to the ancient Egyptians.
Due to the Nile floods in ancient times, the Pharaohs has many corps of vegetables and fruits that formed most of their food. This is in addition to honey, dates, raisins, meats, birds, and fish.
Bread in Ancient Egypt
Bread, the same as it is until today, was significantly important for the Pharaohs. Historians assert that there were more than 40 kinds of bread that were baked in ancient Egypt. Some types contained pressed dates, some were baked without yeast, while the bread of the poor was rather blackish in its color due to the usage of poorer types of flour. The “Semeed” bread was the one consumed by the rich as it was produced out of the best types of grains.
The Food of the Pharaohs
Among the most important grains of the ancient Egyptians, there were the barley, wheat, and wheat flour. In terms of legumes, the Pharaohs mainly used to eat lentil, fenugreeks, cowpea, Peaches, thermoses, chickpeas, and beans.
The vegetables the ancient Egyptians knew included cabbages, lettuce, onions garlic, and “Malana”, which is some type of chickpeas. Grapes played a significant role in the lives of the ancient Egyptians. They used it to produce various types of wine. Ancient Egyptians loved easting pomegranates, apples, and Siwan dates. This is in addition to pear, sycamore and melons.
Meats and animal products were exclusive for the rich. Cattle were largely brought up in ancient Egypt. Cow milk was used for the nutriment of children and as a component of medicine as well.
Eating Habits of the Pharaohs; The Rich and the Poor
The ancient Egyptians were mainly divided into two types; the royals and the commons who used to have meals on smaller tables. They used to consume three meals a day, with one of them, mainly the supper which witnessed the attendance of all family members. Bread was a main component of all meals they also used to have deserts made out of pies and jams after the main meals.
The meals of the rich and the royals were huge and they included grilled bulls, gees, and birds. This is in addition the best fruits, eggs, sweets, bread and beer.
Among the most important habits of the ancient Egyptians is that they never over-ate as they were keen to preserve their health and their nice body shape. This is apparent from many historical records of the Pharaohs.
Food, God’s Offerings, and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt
The ancient Egyptians believed that their gods were like humans. This meant that they needed food and drinks. This is why the religious rituals of the ancient Egyptians included presenting offerings to the gods in fixed timings every day to the symbols of these gods including all sorts of foods, drinks, and flowers.
This in addition to the food of the afterlife. The Pharaohs believed that after death, people are resurrected again and they needed food and water to survive. This is the main reason why they included various types of food with the belongings of the deceased so they can eat them in the afterlife.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Egypt is safe country to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Egypt tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Egyptian Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Egypt, it is also the national language in the country but Egyptians speak and understand English as they study it in school. Fewer Egyptians can speak other languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Egyptians working in tourism sector are accustomed to speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of most travelers.
Egypt is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States. Visit Cairo Airport website for a full list of Airlines that fly to Egypt.
Duty free allowances on arrival to Egypt are 1L alcohol, 1L perfume, and either 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g tobacco. Duty free shops are available in Egypt airports and major tourist cities (Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh).
Giza Pyramids and most monuments and Museums in Egypt open between 8 Am to 5 Pm. During Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, be aware that these hours will change significantly.
Shops and stores in Egypt are usually opened from 10 Am to 10 Pm however in major cities it opens much later and some are open 24 hours.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
Taking pictures for people and streets is fine after people permission While Taking pictures for official type or army structures is not permitted. In most historical sites and museums in Egypt it is allowed to use camera, some of them may charge you for camera but at the Egyptian Museum and some similar historical sites it is prohibited and you will be asked to leave camera at reception before entering.
Egypt enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Egypt is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.
There in no health concerns or vaccinations required to visit Egypt but we recommend to check with your own doctor, he knows you and your medical history best.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE), it is about ,06 to USD. Money exchange is widely available, Credit cards are largely used in Egypt major cities and tourist spots.
We do not recommend the public buses in big cities. Taxi and limousine service are fine every where but price is negotiable. Trains go to all big cities in Egypt except Sinai and the Red Sea. Flights from / to tourist cities are always available.
Tipping in Egypt is an appreciated habitual attitude but is Not obligatory. Generally 5 to 10 EGP for small favors is fine for carrying luggage, parking a car or to guys who clean bathrooms. 10 % is fine in restaurant and spa. Tipping your tour guide and vehicle driver should be considered if you're provided with good to great service, feel free to give what you think your experience was worth.
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In Cairo, visit the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Khan El Khalili Bazaar and relish a walking tour on foot in Old Cairo. In Luxor visit the impressive Luxor temple, Hatshepsut temple, Valley of the Kings and Karnak temple. Aswan tours go to Philae Temple, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Abu Simbel temples. Uncover the Western Desert oases like Siwa and Bahariya. Diving or snorkeling in the magic waters of Red Sea and Sinai beaches like Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Taba, Hurghada and Marsa Alam to explore the magic of the underwater world. Board a Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan or vise versa, Lake Nasser Cruise from Aswan to Abu Simbel or vise versa and Cruise from Cairo to Aswan or vise versa.