The oldest written recipe found in Egypt is dated approximately the year 300 AD. A recipe for red lentils, it was written on papyrus in the Greek language.
The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has released a new video on the history of cooking in Egypt, showing the oldest known recipe in the North African country.
It turns out that the recipe from the third century was either written there by a person who knew the Greek language or perhaps that the piece of papyrus with the recipe had originally come from Greece.
The ancient Egyptians had eaten lentils since prehistoric times, around 4000 BC. However, the fact that the lentil recipe is written in Greek indicates that it was a part of the Greek diet.
Greeks in Egypt
Greeks have been present in Egypt since at least the 7th century BC. Herodotus visited Egypt in the 5th century BC and claimed that the Greeks were one of the first groups of foreigners who had ever lived in the country.
The Greek presence is particularly strong in Alexandria.
The story of Hellenism in Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city, goes back more than two millennia and is marked by Alexander the Great’s placement of the first stone as part of the city’s first street in 331 BC.
Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (the Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and its Necropolis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.
Alexandria was at one time the second-most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome.
In modern times, Greeks began to settle in Alexandria again in the 18th and 19th centuries. A new wave of immigration flooded Alexandria shortly after the Greek revolution of 1821, marking the beginning of the so-called European era of the city.