Happy Presidents’ Day! 45 presidents and each with their own unique style as Commander In Chief. A recent survey listed George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as tied for the most respected and prominent presidents. It’s no wonder. They both were responsible for shaping so much of our history and government. And they also share the same birth month too – February.
I couldn’t settle on one particular dish to make for the day so I decided to go a different route with a little presidential food trivia. So here’s a rundown on our leaders favorite foods!
1. George Washington – cherries and nuts were among his favorite things to eat, despite the longstanding myth that he cut down his father’s cherry tree.
2. John Adams – pickles were a regular part of his daily meals.
3. Thomas Jefferson – anything French, but he was well known for his signature dish of macaroni and cheese.
4. James Madison – his wife, Dolley Madison was famous for her cakes, but his indulgence was ice cream. Plain vanilla.
5. James Monroe – being a Virginian, he regularly enjoyed a comfort food he grew up on, spoon bread.
6. John Quincy Adams – fresh fruit everyday would make this past president one of the healthiest eaters.
7. Andrew Jackson – he was also enamored with French cuisine much like Thomas Jefferson. But his favorite dish was called Floating Islands Dessert, a poached meringue with vanilla custard.
8. Martin Van Buren – oysters were his weakness and he was rumored to eat them by the bushel.
9. William Henry Harrison – squirrel stew. I can’t even wrap my mind around that.
10. John Tyler – he absolutely loved desserts, specifically pudding. And even more specifically, Indian pudding. In its original form, this was basically cornmeal, milk, and molasses.
11. James Polk – embracing his southern roots, he loved corn pone, something akin to cornbread.
12. Zachary Taylor – creole foods and a pastry called calas, which are a type of beignets made with rice.
13. Millard Fillmore – his comfort food was any kind of soup. Yum!
14. Franklin Pierce – being a New Englander, he loved clams, clam chowder and a dessert known as apple pandowdy (similar to an apple pie or apple cobbler).
15. James Buchanan – another French cuisine fan, but his real go to food was cabbage.
16. Abraham Lincoln – gingerbread cookies were his favorite snack, particularly his mother’s recipe.
17. Andrew Johnson – Hoppin’ John is a southern dish of bacon, black eyed peas, rice and onions, most often enjoyed on New Years for good luck, but he ate it year round.
18. Ulysses Grant – rice pudding helped get him through his presidency.
19. Rutherford Hayes – he was a breakfast kind of guy and enjoyed cornmeal pancakes, with lots of syrup.
20. James Garfield – squirrel stew. Ugh. Once again, I have no words for this.
21. Chester Arthur – his favorite food aligned pretty well with his facial hair, mutton chops.
22. Grover Cleveland – pickled herring were among his top choice snack foods.
23. Benjamin Harris – he liked to keep food simple. No frills corn on the cob with a little butter and salt.
24. Grover Cleveland – second time around (he was the only president to serve two terms that were non consecutive), and he still indulged with pickled herring.
25. William McKinley – he was another basic eater, nothing unique, but he really liked fish.
26. Theodore Roosevelt – it’s no surprise that as a hunter, this president loved wild game and steak.
27. William Taft – being the heaviest of all presidents (over 300 lbs), he indulged obviously in everything. But his favorite fare was steak and potatoes. And more potatoes.
28. Woodrow Wilson – a health conscious eater, his preferred food was a simple chicken salad.
29. Warren Harding – chicken pot pie was the most requested meal for him.
30. Calvin Coolidge – prepare yourself for this food fancy. Apple pie with a twist of pork mix in. So, an apple and bacon pie?
31. Herbert Hoover – sweet potatoes and marshmallows were a standard dish for him all year long.
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt – he was completely enamored with hotdogs and actually served them to the King and Queen of England during a statehood visit.
33. Harry Truman – a devoted steak eater, but only if it was very well done. He once said only coyotes and predatory animals eat their meat raw.
34. Dwight Eisenhower – he was actually a very good cook, but his wife, Mamie, got most of the credit for her famous fudge which was his go to snack.
35. John F. Kennedy – being a true Bostonian, his favorite food was New England fish chowder.
36. Lyndon Johnson – while he loved to indulge on tapioca pudding, his absolute requirement was the soft drink, Fresca. He actually installed a buzzer in his office so it could be brought to him on demand.
37. Richard Nixon – sit down for this food fetish. Cottage cheese and ketchup. I can’t even imagine how you stumble on to that combination.
38. Gerald Ford – he was another breakfast fan. Waffles with strawberries and sour cream. Seems pretty reasonable compared to his predecessor.
39. Jimmy Carter – grits were his comfort food during a pretty tumultuous presidency.
40. Ronald Reagan – Jelly Belly jelly beans. I honestly think this is my favorite presidential foodie story. He had a standing monthly order for the White House of over 300k.
41. George HW Bush – pork rinds with Tabasco. This is another one of those food combos that just make you wonder why. But his love for pork rinds gave the snack food an 11% increase in sales during his presidency.
42. Bill Clinton – heart health issues and stress probably were part of his eventual food lifestyle change to vegan. But before that he was a die hard ( no pun intended) jalapeño cheeseburger fanatic.
43. George W Bush – this guy loves cheeseburger pizza. The combo of two iconic ‘Merican foods because that’s how we roll in ‘Merica.
44. Barack Obama – nachos with lots and lots of guacamole. I think we can all totally appreciate that!
45. Donald Trump – Big Macs, because he’s afraid of being poisoned. And apparently no one working at McDonald’s for minimum wage would ever think of doing that.
So there you have the Presidents’ Day foodie favorites! Here’s a presidential salute to our past Commander In Chiefs. Thank you for your leadership 1-44 ♥️