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Rated: E · Crossword Puzzle · History · #2140675
A crossword, filled with questions relating to food, cooking, & dining in Ancient Greece.
Before researching this subject, I imagined the Ancient Greeks would have been much like the Romans, and that they would have overindulged and had grand displays of their wealth through the food they ate. I was wrong. For the Ancient Greeks, food wasn't a symbol of wealth. Rather, it was a symbol of sophistication. It was much more important for them to be seen as thinking and intellectual. Anyone who didn't live up to their standards were considered barbarians.

This picture is of the typical food the Ancient Greeks would have eaten.



They ate a lot of olives (with most meals), a lot of lentils and beans, vegetables, goat cheese, and breads. I was surprised to learn that they didn't eat much meat. They believed that killing domesticated animals—such as goats—for food would make them barbarians. When they did kill animals for food, they always offered them to the gods before eating them. Meat was generally cooked on spits and roasted. The Ancient Greeks did eat some fish, with salt fish being an occasional midday serving. The first tuna caught in the year was always offered to Poseidon, but it wasn't necessary for any fish after that to be offered to the gods.

By the end of the classical period, Greeks normally ate three meals a day. Breakfast, which consisted of barley cakes or flatbread, dipped in wine. Wine was a large part of their diet. They never drank undiluted wine, though. It was always mixed with water in a crockery vessel, called a krater. This is a picture of one such vessel.



Anyone who drank undiluted wine was considered a barbarian. It's thought the mixture ration was probably one part wine to three parts water, so they certainly didn't drink to get drunk. It was more of a social undertaking.

In the middle of the day, they had their second meal. It was usually a light meal, with more bread, figs, salted fish, cheeses, and olives.

The evening meal was the most important meal of the day. Men often ate, propped up on their side. If they had slaves, they served them. If they didn't, then the women served them. The women couldn't eat their own food until the men had finished their meal. Men and women ate separately. The men would eat and discuss philosophy and daily events. The evening meal consisted of two courses. The first, called the sitos, would consist of starchy foods like barley wheat, lentils, and beans. The word sitos means "fill you up," and that was the purpose of this first course. The main course, called the opson, would be fish, salad, vegetables, sometimes meat, and sometimes just olive oil! Opson originally meant relish, but it evolved over time to mean the main thing of interest; everything else.

Here is an illustration of a Greek men's dining hall:



I hope you enjoy my crossword. It's just possible that the answers to some of the questions might be in this short essay.
Across:
 2 As there was no raw sugar in Ancient Greece, this was often used as a sweetener.
 3 This name was given to a person who skips breakfast.
 6 This era was often added to wine, for flavour.
 7 The name for the communal meals that were taken in Sparta.
 8 Ancient Greek name for breakfast.
 9 A sweetener made from grapes.
 10 This ancient beer had a shake-like consistency. It was made from barley gruel, water (or wine), herbs, & goat cheese.
 12 Ancient Greek barley cake.
 14 The name given to the first course of the evening meal.
 16 If this fruit was thrown at you, it would be seen as a marriage proposal.
 17 Ancient Greek name for the evening meal.
Down:
 1 The animal from where most of the Ancient Greeks' milk and cheese came.
 4 Milk wasn't usually drank by Ancient Greeks. It was prescribed as a ________.
 5 This breakfast item resembles a pancake. It's made from wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk.
 6 An ancient Greek version of Baklava.
 7 The first tuna caught in the year was offered to this god.
 10 The crockery vessel in which the wine was mixed with water.
 11 The name given to the main course of the evening meal.
 13 Ancient Greek name for the midday meal.
 15 Along with Lesbos and Chios, this was the main wine producing region in Ancient Greece.
Submit your answers to see which words are correct and add those words into the crossword puzzle above. You can still continue working on the puzzle after you submit.
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