When we think about the US Presidents and food, many automatically think of our first President, George Washington and apple pie. In fact, Washington’s estate was known for hosting many guests and providing them with a wide variety of culinary options. As a result, the Mount Vernon Association has a long list of recipes online, showcasing cuisine Washington would serve to his guests.
In honor of President’s Day (and being in the business of food), we couldn’t help but dive a bit deeper into the favorite foods of our country’s leaders.
Starting out with a classic many can relate to is Harry S. Truman and his adoration of fried chicken. “Traditional farmhouse dishes” were a staple in the White House during the Truman years, and many of Mrs. Truman’s recipes have been shared online through various historical outlets.
Most of the presidents reportedly kept a fairly straightforward diet, and President Richard Nixon did not stray far from the stereotype. Rumor is he loved his wife’s meatloaf and would indulge in the dish at least once a month.
On the more obscure side of things, James Garfield loved squirrel soup. After he was shot in 1881, he reportedly gave an officer permission to shoot squirrels on the White House campus so he could continue to enjoy his favorite dish.
When researching the presidents and the food they enjoyed, Thomas Jefferson continued to stump us on which food would have been considered his favorite. A worldly man, Jefferson had roots in Paris and a passion for French food. All historical records say he generally preferred French cuisine but had a sweet spot for Virginia sweet corn. Although his favorite food may remain a mystery, we can thank this Founding Father for bringing popularity to items such as ice cream, macaroni and cheese and parmesan to the United States.
So how will you celebrate the holiday with fried chicken like Truman or squirrel soup like Garfield?
(Minus the oddball squirrel soup, Rendezvous Bistro has you covered if reading this caused a sudden craving for meatloaf or fried chicken).