Published On: Sun, Feb 26th, 2023

All the Presidents’ menus from squirrel, buffalo and Big Macs | US | News

Abraham Lincoln adored possum dip, Eisenhower was a squirrel meat man while Franklin Delano Roosevelt loved nothing more than buffalo tongue as an appetiser. In more modern times, President John F Kennedy and First Lady Jackie hired a French chef to prepare exquisite everyday meals at the White House, as well as lavish state banquets featuring such delicacies as pheasant breast galantine.

Donald Trump, in stark contrast, only threw two state dinners during his one-term presidency, preferring to serve guests Big Macs and fries in a West Wing conference room.

A fascinating new book published in the US – Dinner with the President: Food, Politics and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House – lifts the lid on changing presidential tastes since 1800.

Author Alex Prud’homme says: “The president is a symbol of the nation and a flesh-and-blood human being, and his food choices bridge those disparate roles.

“The messaging about food touches on everything from personal taste to politics, economics, science and war.”

In 1990, George HW Bush sparked uproar when he stated: “I do not like broccoli – and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid.

“I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat anymore!”

At the first big White House banquet in 1874, President Ulysses Grant – then the youngest Com-mander-in-Chief at 46 – served the guest-of-honour King Kalakaua of Hawaii a gut-busting 29 courses.

William Taft, who began his single term in 1909, was the heaviest president, tipping the scales at 25st 2lbs.

He began his day with a “breakfast worthy of a medieval king”. And before he resigned in 1974 over Watergate, Richard Nixon was known to prefer trays of Chinese or Hawaiian meats and appetisers, washed down with powerful Mai Tai cocktails.

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