Food in Sparta


Spartan food was consider to be plain, frugal and unappetizing and delicacies were usually turned away by Spartans. According to Plutarch it was Lycurgus who suggested that Spartans should eat a light producing tall healthy spartan men and women, not being weighed down by gluttony. The main source of food was cultivated from there assigned land growing many crops that included fruit such as figs and grapes, which were pressed into wine and grains such as wheat and barley which was made into porridge and bread. Honey was available from Spartan hives. Spartans also ate meat from sheep, fish, pig and goats and hunting also provided meat from boar, venison and hare. Olives and olive oil was also a common food in Sparta.Dairy products such as milk and cheese was also provided from the sheep and goat. Spartan boys were given little food it was considered good practice and training for life in the army, so they were encouraged to steal foods . Cheese sealing was one of the test undertaken by spartan youths as part of the Artemis Orthia. Older Spartan made their monthly contribution to there, which would consist of barley meal, wine, cheese, figs and money to buy fish and meat. Wine was a common drink in Sparta, although excess consumption was discouraged, as drunkenness ‘undid the body and mind’, and was heavily frowned upon. A famous cuisine known as the the black broth was staple soup ate by the Spartan armies which was a dish made from boiled pig legs, blood and salt and vinegar. According to a man from Sybaris, upon tasting the Spartans' black soup understood why they were so willing to die.

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In Sparta, men ate together in 'mess' houses. These occasions were called syssitia. All members of the mess had to contribute some food from their lands. The usual food included a black soup, but wealthier members of the mess were supposed to contribute meats from hunting or bread to the meal.
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Spartan drinking cup Men drank wine with, or after, most meals. It was diluted with water
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Water Jar

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