9 Totally Surprising Things People Ate For Breakfast In The Past

Breakfast has gone through many different phases in the past century or so.

In 1916, the first electric refrigerator went on sale for $900, which was a heaping stack of cash back then. That made keeping produce around the house much easier for those who could afford it.

At the turn of the century, it was customary to eat a bigger, heartier breakfast as to give you ample energy throughout the day, with pancakes and bacon galore.

More recently, it’s become a trend to eat a lighter, healthier breakfast. Green smoothies abound, as well as aa bowls adorned with goji berries and gluten-free granola.

So, in the past century alone, we’ve come a long way. But, what about before that? What about all of the generations of people that woke up every morning in Ancient Greece, or even in Victorian London?

These 9 unique approaches to breakfast throughout the ages might be a bit surprising,but a few of them actuallysound pretty darn delicious.

Which of these breakfast ideas from history would you like to wake up to eachmorning?

Thumbnail sources: Herts & Essex Observer, Wikimedia Commons

1. Beer, Bread, And Onions


In Ancient Egypt, peasants ate one meal daily, most likely before their grueling day of work. How does a sparse plate of bread and onions paired with beer sound to sustain a hard day’s work under the Pharaoh’s command? Wealthier Egyptians, as pictured above, added fruits, beans, garlic, and leeks to their breakfasts.

2. Wine-Dipped Barley Bread


Around the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. in Ancient Greece, people would rise and eat barley bread dipped in wine. They might also have had figs or olives on the side.

3. Tagenites, Or Pancakes


Ancient Greek pancakes, called tagenites, were made of a simplemixture of flour and water (with the option of honey), or withwheat flour, olive oil, honey and curdled milk.

4. Leftover Meat


In Ancient Rome, breakfast was called jentaculum, and consisted of meat leftover from the evening before, with bread, cheese, olives, and raisins. This would be accompanied by wine, possibly mixed with honey and spices. This doesn’t sound too shabby, does it?

5. Porridge


Roman soldiers didn’t have a breakfast quite as hearty or nutritious as the rest of Rome. They atepulmentus, which is roasted spelt cooked in a cauldron of water, and it wasn’t too different from Italian polenta.

6. Nothing


Eating breakfast in the European Middle Ages was frowned upon, as eating too early fell under the sin of gluttony. Only the elderly, children, and laborers who truly needed the energy ate breakfast. As it was seen as a sign of weakness to eat so early in the day, many men felt ashamed to have breakfast.

7. Rye Bread And Cheese


In 13th century Europe, when breakfast was eaten, it would be a simple meal of rye bread and cheese, accompanied by about a quarter-gallon of a low-grade alcohol beer.

8. Deviled Kidneys


Along with more familiar breakfast staples such as eggs and bacon, well-off Victorian Londoners had deviled kidneys, anchovy paste, and preserved tongues, as regular breakfast foods.

9. Weak Tea, Bread, And Butter


The poorer Victorian Londoners were not so lucky to have such a bounty of food for breakfast. They most likely had weak tea and an insufficient amount of bread and butter. A grown man would hardly get enough to feed a child.

Would you ever eat any of these breakfasts from the past? Please SHARE with family and friends on Facebook!

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