Spartan cuisine has a terrible reputation. It is consistently described as scanty, primitive and boring. I have even read books where Spartans are described eating dogs (presumably because this makes them seem more barbaric and bestial), although there is no evidence that the breeders of the much prized Kastorian hounds were dog-eaters. The “black broth,” allegedly served at every Spartan mess, has come in for particular derision, with the usual assumption being that it was an unappetizing broth at best and – for real Sparta-haters – it was a soup made of clotted blood. Modern conceptions of Spartan cuisine were most humorously expressed in a banner ad run by a restaurant when the film “300” was showing in movie theaters. It said: “Forget about Sparta, Persian cuisine was better.”
Herodotus says little about Spartan food beyond stressing that the kings had double portions and received the meat of sacrificial bulls at set intervals. He also notes that the kings did not eat double rations, but shared out their extra portions with those they wished to favor/reward. Presumably, in Herodotus’ time Spartan cuisine wasn’t bad enough to rate a bad review.