Food - Drink
What Was On The Table At The Last Supper?
For a long time, our knowledge about the foods served at the Last Supper was limited to a few nondescript Bible verses, and ideas were also influenced by Leonardo Da Vinci's famous depiction of the scene. However, thanks to archaeologists and historians, we may now have a more accurate picture of the food that was on the table.
The Bible verses Matthew 26:17-30 indicate that the Last Supper was a celebration of the Passover, a Jewish springtime celebration to commemorate the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. The verses only state that unleavened bread and wine were served at the Supper, but other Passover foods could have been on the table.
Italian archaeologist Generoso Urciuoli combined his knowledge of traditional Passover foods with Roman culinary practices to speculate on what else may have been at the Supper. His suggestions include lamb and matzah bread, which are traditional for Passover, as well as olives with hyssop and tzir, a type of Roman fish sauce.
Urciuoli also suggests cholent (a bean stew), charoset paste (made of ground nuts and fruits), and maror (bitter herbs). John Varriano, a late art professor at Mount Holyoke College, believed Da Vinci’s famous artwork features food from his own time, the 1490's, rather than anything accurate to what Jesus and his disciples ate.