There’s something about the President of the United States.
It’s often hard to see office-holders as everyday people when they hold one of the most powerful titles in the world. However, if there’s one thing that brings people together, it’s food. Everyone’s got to eat. And it doesn’t take long for the nation to become enamored with a president’s pet things and habits. With Ronald Reagan, it was jelly beans. Jimmy Carter munched peanuts. And George W. Bush is a pretzel lover.
The First Presidents favorite foods
George Washington said: “My manner of living is plain, and I do not mean to be put out by it. A glass of wine and a bit on mutton are always welcome. Those who expect more will be disappointed.”
Breakfast seems to have been the only meal in the Presidential house that was relaxed. Henry Wansey, an English manufacturer, who had breakfast with the President and his family on June 8, 1794, indicates this to be so: “Mrs. Washington made tea and coffee for them. On the table there were two small plates of sliced tongues and dry toast, bread and butter, but no broiled fish, as is generally the custom. There were but few of form; one servant only attended”. Other dishes included: Indian Hoe Cakes, Peggy Stewart Tea, Rice Waffles with Ferry Farm Sauce, Buttered Eggs. Nellie Custis’ Hoecake recipe, courtesy of Mount Vernon.
What our Presidents eat
Some were gourmets relishing classic French cuisine (Jefferson, Kennedy); others were “down home” simple eaters (Adams, Johnson). Presidents have viewed food as fuel (Lincoln, Wilson); opportunities for cultural exchange (Nixon, FDR); or medical encumbrance (Garfield).
- As it’s said, “On most Sundays, if the Bushes weren’t at Camp David, the President wanted the same thing for lunch: huevos rancheros.”
- Clinton often hankered for a platter of chicken enchiladas, and really, who can blame him?
- While there are a lot of foods that the Reagan’s enjoyed, from macaroni and cheese to roast beef hash, honey-baked apples captured Ronald’s heart entirely.
- Presidents certainly don’t have time to cook, unless they make time for it. Eisenhower enjoyed learning how to cook and did so often for close friends he and his family would entertain at Camp David. One of his personal favorites? Old-fashioned beef stew.
- There was nothing FDR “liked better than Lake Superior whitefish, boned and planked.”
- While Mary Todd Lincoln was an excellent cook, Abe was a kind and gentle man who never said no to anything in front of him. He gladly ate whatever Mary would fix, but his true secret, was that he loved honey and treated it as a delicacy since his childhood in poverty.
What we know
About our Presidents favorite foods is gleaned from primary documents and household ledgers. With few notable exceptions, presidential food favorites are rarely recorded by biographers. 19th century gastronomer Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin observed: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” – Indeed, there is no better measure of personal taste than the food one eats. Literally and figuratively.
Mid term elections are tomorrow
But we voted early -so now we can dedicate our time to our patrons with food & entertainment, and follow how these elections play out. “Stay local – eat local” at Watson Lake Inn Choose from one of our four suites for your stay in the Granite Dells and you can indulge in a memorable lodging experience and culinary discovery.