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Ancient Egyptian cuisine covers a span of over three thousand years, but still retained many consistent traits until well into Greco-Roman times. The staples of both poor and wealPicture of Egyptian spices each in an open sac with lables and pricesthy Egyptians were bread and bear, often accompanied by green-shooted onions and other vegetables and to a lesser extent meat, game and fish.

Egyptians used spices for embalming (e.g. anise, cumin, sweet marjoram). Body was eviscerated, including brain, and filled with aromatics (myrrh and cassia) then sewn up and placed in sodium solution for 70 days, wrapped in linen, and smeared with gums. Oils and perfumes were applied in many ceremonies (the term anointing refers to application of holy oils). There were 7 holy oils (probably oils of spices): oil of Libya, oil of cedar, tuatu, nemnen, sefth, heknu, festival oil). Incense refers to plant substances that release fragrances when burned. Read More..
Picture of two men and women selling spices in Egypt
Egyptians liked strong-tasting vegetables such as garlic and onions. They thought these were good for the health. They also ate peas and beans, lettuce, cucumbers, and leeks. Vegetables were often served with an oil and vinegar dressing. Figs, dates, pomegranates and grapes were the only fruits that could be grown in the hot climate. The rich could afford to make wine from their grapes. Baskets of figs have been found in Egyptian tombs.Picture of a black man selling spices in Egypt

Ancient Egyptians regularly using spices, especially cumin, anise and cinnamon in their embalming processes. Others starting to be mixed into cosmetics, purifying incePicture of Egyptian grain and dried spices hangingnses and foods. Egyptian sailors trading for cassia and cinnamon in the Land of Punt (Somalia). First sea spice routes established, passing up the west coast of India, along the Arabian coast and through the Red Sea to Egypt. The Bible refers to spices as part of everyday life during the period: In Ezekiel, cassia and calamus is placed in Phoenicia; Moses is said to have used myrrh, cinnamon and calamus in the oil prepared to anoint the Ark of the Covenant; Joseph, of the many-coloured coat, was sold by his brothers to a camel train carrying spicery, gold and myrrh. Cumin, anise and cinnamon used for embalming in Egypt. Read More..

Evidence is provided by Egyptian records where, as far back as 2600 BCE, the labourers building Cheops' great pyramid were fed Asiatic spices to give them strength. Archaeological evidence from Sumeria (circa 2400 BCE) also suggests that cloves were popular in Syria (cloves could only bPicture of an assortement Egyptian spices on cartwheele attained from the Indonesian Spice Islands, the Moluccas). Strong evidence that trade with the spice islands themselves is truly ancient.

Almost a millennium later, the remarkable Egyptian Ebers papyrus (dating to 1550 BCE) lists spices used for both medicinal and embalming procedures. Cassia and cinnamon, named in the papyrus, were essential for embalming; as were anise, marjoram and cumin — all used to rinse-out the body cavities of the worthy dead. Of these spices, cassia and cinnamon are both native to south-east Asia.


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