Classical Greece: Historical Survey

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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In the civilization depicted in the Homeric epics, the Iliad and Odyssey (8th century bc), there is little evidence of any elaborate methods of cookery. Meals as described in these poems consisted of bread with unspecified relishes, spit-roasted meat, and red wine; but there are references also to fish, cheese, honey, and orchard fruit (apples, pears, figs, pomegranates). There is no sign of any long-distance trade in foodstuffs, whether luxuries or necessities. Named wines and aged wines were appreciated.