the White House

U.S. Presidents and Their Favorite Food Cravings

The United States just went through one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent history. With the January 20, 2021 inauguration just weeks away, the topic of the presidency is at the forefront of many people’s minds. While most people know their president’s politics from day one, knowing their president’s favorite food usually takes more time.

As it turns out, each resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has had definite preferences when it comes to food. Even with numerous staff members available to them to prepare or order nearly any food they could want, presidents are only human and often stick with just a few favorites. This post highlights some America’s president’s favorite food dating all the way back to its first commander in chief.

George Washington Loved His Hoecakes

Image by Social Butterfly from Pixabay

Hoecakes, which Americans know today as pancakes, were a favorite meal of President Washington. He especially enjoyed his morning meal covered in honey. Since the time of his presidency in the late 1700s, pancakes have become a beloved breakfast tradition for millions of people. Eating pancakes for breakfast and supper is always an option as well. Despite the enormous popularity of the simple food once known as hoecakes, many people are surprised to learn that pancakes derive from a Native American recipe.

Thomas Jefferson and the Original Macaroni and Cheese

The macaroni and cheese dish fancied by our nation’s third president looked and tasted nothing like the boxed and microwave versions popular today. Legend has it that Jefferson first discovered macaroni and cheese while traveling through Europe. He enjoyed the dish so much that he purchased a machine in Italy and brought it back with him to the United States so he could make the food whenever he wanted it.

Peking Duck a Favorite Food of Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush

When President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972, his goal was to improve the strained United States-Chinese relations. He didn’t expect to fall in love with Peking duck, one of the many foods that China has made popular around the world.

Peking Duck was one of the president's favorite food choices in the 20th century
Image by FuReal from Pixabay

Part of the presidential attraction to Peking duck for Nixon was the authentic flavors and cooking process. News stations picked up coverage of Nixon’s dinners while in China, and it wasn’t long before chefs in the U.S. began imitating the authentic recipe.

George H.W. Bush, the nation’s 41st president and 40th vice president, was also very fond of Peking duck. Unlike Nixon, Bush discovered his love of Peking duck in the United States without traveling to China first. During his 12-year tenure as vice president and president of the United States, Bush frequented an Asian restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia more than 300 times.

Theodore Roosevelt Loved His Comfort Foods

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, president of the United States from 1901 to 1909, had a handful of comfort foods that he enjoyed. His favorites included fried chicken covered in white gravy, pigs in a blanket, and turtle soup.

Roosevelt also loved his coffee, but only when he could add sugar. Apparently, his sweet tooth was so great that he’d add seven sugar cubes to every cup of coffee.

Everyday Americans may not see their food choices go down in history, but that doesn’t make them any less important. After all, food is just as much about comfort and connection with other people as it is about nourishment.

Cover image:

  • the-white-house-1623005_1280: Pixabay

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