Skip to main content

What Appears on the White House China?

We know their treaties, their speeches, their wars and their legacies. So what about their favorite foods?

It may seem rather childlike to wonder (and yes, the answers to the above question come from the kids section of the White House Web site) but presidents are people, and if people like anything, they like to eat. That food was on our 43 presidents' minds is evident just by typing "food" into the American Presidency Project search engine - and scrolling down the 5,951 speeches, proclamations, and press conferences that pop up.

Their choices of preferred fare may surprise you. According to White House Kids' presidential biographies, George Washington's favorite foods were ice cream and fish, Thomas Jefferson went for "spoon breads," William Taft liked turtle soup, and Abraham Lincoln was a fan of fruit salad. In more recent times, presidential proclivities have entered mainstream reporting -- witness Ronald Reagan's jelly beans or the elder president Bush's pork rinds.

But the award for the strangest food craving would have to go to James Buchanan, who apparently set a good example for youngsters everywhere in his fondness for a healthy serving of cabbage.