Presidential Meals

Ever wonder what the president stocks his fridge with?

Sarah Marshall, over at The Awl, recently wrote an article detailing the presidents favourite meals. These are not the fancy, high quality foods they receive at events, but the meals they request everyday.

She has gone all the way back to George Washington, who liked sliced tongue and toast for breakfast.

As I am currently on a West Wing kick, this article was fascinating to me. Jed Bartlet talked of food a lot, the fact that he was not to eat red meat but did, and the meals he was seen eating were always very simple.

If you had anything in the world at your fingertips, would you still eat the same meals you eat now?

Here are some meals that I found interesting:

Barack Obama: Nachos and guacamole, chili, burgers, Green Dragon and Black Forest Berry Honest Tea, Planter’s trail mix, pistachios, almonds, water, Dentyne Ice, Nicorette, MET-Rx protein bars, apples, broccoli, and spinach.

Richard Nixon: Fresh fruit, avocadoes, gazpacho, cucumber mousse, cold poached salmon, cold shrimp and crab, cottage cheese, Rye Crisp, wheat germ, macadamia nuts, corned beef and cabbage, steak, spaghetti with meatballs, meatloaf, and beef stroganoff.

John F. Kennedy: Broiled bacon, New England chowder, lamb chops, steak, fish on Fridays, mashed potatoes, baked beans, corn muffins, grilled cheese sandwiches, quiches, soufflés, and beer. “President Kennedy was a small eater; he often had to be reminded that it was dinner time… politics always took preference over food.” — The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Creamed chipped beef, corned beef hash with poached eggs, bread pudding, fried cornmeal mush with maple syrup, kippered herring, kedgeree, Welsh rarebit, doughnuts, scrambled eggs for dinner on Sunday nights, lobster, steak, soup with fairy toast, and apple pie. Terrapins, caviar, and foie gras on occasion. When King George VI and Queen Elizabeth toured United States—making them the first reigning British monarchs to visit America—the Roosevelts served them hot dogs.

James Garfield: Squirrel soup, fresh bread, milk, tea mashed potatoes, parsnips, and Garfield pie (made with apples, not the cat). He willingly ate all foods save for oatmeal: “Told that Indian leader Sitting Bull was starving himself to protest his imprisonment, Garfield said, ‘Let him starve.’ Then he thought for a moment and said, ‘Oh no, send him my oatmeal.’”—James Cook, The Murder of James A. Garfield

Abraham Lincoln: Apples, coffee, bacon, milk, johnnycakes, honey, and chicken. “Mary Lincoln set a table at the White House, which included such food as aspic of tongue, pâté de foie Gras, turkey stuffed with truffles, and all sorts of wild game, such as venison, pheasant, or canvasback duck. But all too often the President merely picked at his food.”—Francois Rysavy, A Treasury of White House Cooking

Zachary Taylor: Deviled crabmeat, hominy, and Cajun food, which had developed a taste for while living in Louisiana. (Taylor was also the only president ever believed to have died in office because of a meal, in his case a large amount of iced milk and cherries on a hot day. He fell ill and died several days later.)

John Quincy Adams: Quincy Adams was often satisfied with a few crackers and a glass of water for dinner, but he was fond of fruit, enjoying apricots, plums, pears, and apples from the White House orchards. “It is a matter of some curiosity that Adams, with all his exposure to diverse European cuisines, showed so little interest in food. His culinary education had certainly been extensive…Yet throughout the Adams diary food references are sparse.” —Poppy Cannon and Patricia Brooks, The Presidents’ Cookbook

To read the entire article, click here.


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Categories: Columns, Food


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