January 7, 1958

SIMPLE DIET: (From «An Athenian’s Notes»): Now that Twelfth Night has passed, we are no longer worrying about what to eat and drink. Since Christmas, most of the days have been feast days, but for poor families, the daily diet is governed more by the contents of their wallets rather than the calendar. So a visit to the market might be confined to the grocer and greengrocer, and never reach the butcher or fishmonger. No matter what else one might be shopping for, the first stop is always the baker’s, since the basis of the Greek diet is bread. This was also the case in antiquity. Bread was the basis of the diet, and everything else simply an accompaniment to it. Meals meant bread. Today, as in antiquity, poorer members of the population have shied away from the cooking pot. In antiquity, the poor did not stretch their culinary skills further than bread, cheese, onions and olives, since not so many vegetables were cultivated as today. They did not have much meat, no poultry at all, therefore no eggs, and only those living on or near the coast ate seafood. Salted fish, particularly sardines and mackerel were widely consumed in antiquity.