He also notes that at birthday parties, it was customary to serve whole roasted beasts: oxen, horses, camels or donkeys if one could afford it, or otherwise small cattle. Royalty and nobles enjoyed hunting, both in the wilderness and in royal paradises (parks), by which they also trained for war. Pierre Briant notes that Persians seem to have eaten more meat than Greeks.
The ancient Mediterranean was wine country, and Persia was no exception. Wine remained important in Persian culture even after Islamification, right up until the IRI banned it. Herodotus claims that Persians would deliberate on important issues while drunk, then reconsider the decision while sober; if they were sober when they first considered the problem, they reconsidered it while drunk. (Jona Lendering suggests that this is in fact a misinterpretation of the haoma ceremony.) While the Middle East is best-known for grape wine, 2nd-century military author Polyaenus in Strategems wrote that half the wine consumed at the king's table in Babylon and Susa was palm wine. Wine and beer were considered important sources of nutrition; kurtaš women who had just given birth were given extra rations of one or the other.
No one may vomit or urinate in another's presence: this is prohibited among them.
- Herodotus, I.133