Old Kingdom Food and Drink



Come visit our extensive bread market. We have 15 kinds of br /ead, of wheat barley, spelt, and other grains, flavored with spices, milk, fruit, eggs, fat, butter, and other flavorings, molded or unmolded. We have the popular semi-circular and conical shapes. We have bread formed into animals.

We also have the best flour, ready for grinding. Visit the stone section if you need a stone saddle quern for grinding.


Choose from baskets br /imming with chickpeas, cow peas, br /oad beans, br /own beans (ful medames), onions, garlic, cucumbers, leeks, radishes, and garlic.


We have piles of figs, great for eating fresh, or for stewing or putting in many kinds of dishes. We also have fresh berries in season, and many other kinds of fruit, straight from the trees.


We have full baskets of fresh fish straight from the Nile. Use for grilling, eating fresh, or preserve by smoking, salting, pickling in oil, or drying by the wind. Pick from mullet, catfish, and perch. We even have caviar.


We have sesame seed oil, cheese, and refined butter, or ghee, for cooking. We also have eggs piled on earthenware dishes, and ostrich eggs from Nubia.

Bird Cages

Come see our grain-fattened birds. We have doves, pigeons, quail, ducks and that great favorite, geese. We have ro-geese and terp-geese, djat-cranes, aiou cranes, and qa cranes. Keep them alive, producing eggs, until you need them, and then break their necks right before cooking to maintain freshness.

Meat Pens

We have sheep and goats for the common people, and cattle force fed with br /ead for the upper class. We also have oryx, gazelle, and antelope straight from the desert.

Cooked food
We even have already cooked food for those in a hurry. The food is of course cooked over a charcoal or wood fire. Earthenware saucepans have been put on three foot high earthenware stoves or over hot stones. Deep saucepans have been used to boil meat. Butter, cream, and fat from geese or calves were used as ingredients in meals. Fat has been added to meat for a stew. The birds have been grilled, roasted, or boiled. Fish has been roasted, baked, salted, or dried and ready for eating. Quails and ducks have also been salted but not cooked, and are ready for eating.


We of course have large quantities of over four kinds of beer, including barley beer, or beer made from wheat and dates. We also have that great delicacy, milk.

For those with upper-class tastes, we have lovely red wine made from grapes. We have wine from the wine-producing areas of the Delta, the Fayyum, and the Western Desert Oasis. We also have palm-wine, made from the sap of the date palm, and date-wine.

Hungry or thirsty? Go to the food and drink section.

Feel free to br /owse our other sections:

Return to market

Grimal, Nicolas. 1994, 1988. A History of Ancient Egypt. New York: Barnes & Noble Books.

Kamil, Jill. 1996. The Ancient Egyptians: life in the Old Kingdom. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press.

Tyldesley, Joyce. 1994. Daughters of Isis: Women in Ancient Egypt. London: Penguin Books.

Everyday life in Egypt in the days of Ramesses the Great. -Accessed by my friend Mariamne Philemon of Greece