Aristotle Beyond the Academy

Eating like Aristotle

If you've ever wondered what Aristotle ate, you're in luck, as a "culinary professor" has now re-created a menu based on foods from his homeplace of Chalkidiki.

Giorgos Palisidis' "Aristotelian menu" includes fruits, herbs, wines, and honey that were wide-spread at the time of the Stagirite, backed up by no doubt robust archaeological evidence.

Palisidis has based his menu around Aristotle's five elements, as well as the five basic tastes — sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.

“In the four elements of Empedocles’ theory — earth, water, fire and air, Aristotle added the ether, the fifth element, to describe the unborn, indestructible, unalterable, that which combines all in one substance,” he explained to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

Aristotle believed taste to be a form of touch, and like many modern gastronomers understood well the connection between taste and smell.

With thanks to Prof Fran O'Rourke for submitting this encounter.

Durham UniversityDurham University Centre for Classical ReceptionLeverhulme Trust