The Last Supper

Giacomo Raffaelli/ iStockPhoto

What Was Eaten at the Last Supper?

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What did Jesus and the Apostles actually eat?
The Last Supper

Giacomo Raffaelli/ iStockPhoto

The meal inspired one of the world's most famous paintings (of which this is a copy). 

The Last Supper, eaten by Jesus and his Apostles shortly before Jesus’ betrayal and subsequent crucifixion, has gone down in history as quite possibly the most famous meal of all time. But what was actually eaten during the meal?

There’s a belief that the Last Supper was a traditional Passover Seder, but whether this is actually the case remains unknown. In fact, there are only two things we know for certain were served during the meal, according to scriptures: unleavened bread and wine. (This combination is actually the origin of the Christian ritual of Communion, as Jesus told his Apostles that the wine represented his blood and the bread his body as these foods were passed around.)

Beyond that, we sadly have only conjecture. Staples like olive oil and honey have always been plentiful in the region, so those were most likely on the table. Dried figs were probably present too — it would have been too early in the season for fresh fruit. Lamb most likely wasn’t served, as the meal was held before the annual ritual sacrifice of the lambs. The only other indication as to what might have been on the table comes from a 2015 report from a group of Italian archaeologists, who determined that if the meal had indeed taken place during Passover, it would have included “cholent, a stewed dish of beans cooked very low and slow; olives with hyssop, an herb with a mint-like taste; bitter herbs with pistachios; and a date charoset, a chunky fruit and nut paste.”

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And as for Jesus’ drinking vessel during the meal, commonly known as the Holy Grail? It was most likely just a simple stone cup.