This Presidents Day, I’ve compiled a list of US presidents and their favorite foods to answer the question: Does a great palate destine one for greatness? Looking at he favorite foods of presidents seems to indicate that a fondness for plain fare is the mark of a presidential man. On the other hand, it probably helps to keep your love of the fancy things in life under wraps if you want to get elected. Dishes that occurred again and again were oysters and steak. What else did presidents like to eat? After the jump, read a complete list of every president and some of his favorite dishes.
Note: All this information was pulled from the internet, so take it with a grain of salt, but I tried to get the most accurate information I could. Particularly invaluable was this timeline of presidential eating.
Presidents and Their Favorite Foods
George Washington- fish, hoe cakes, cherry pie
John Adams- Unknown, but he and his wife were known to enjoy a wide variety of cuisines
Thomas Jefferson- macaroni (which he first had in France)
James Madison- Virginia ham and ice cream (which his wife Dolly helped to popularize in America)
James Monroe- spoonbread, chicken fried with rice
John Quincy Adams- unknown, but he did enjoy cultivating fruit
Andrew Jackson- turkey hash
Martin Van Buren- oysters, doughnuts, figs, raisins, apples
William Henry Harrison- oysters, burgoo
John Tyler- dessert puddings
James K. Polk- ham
Zachary Taylor- unknown, but he did once eat a bowl of cherries and drink a pitcher of iced milk in the summer, five days before he died of a stomach ailment. Maybe avoid that one.
Millard Fillmore- corn pudding, soup
Franklin Pierce- Noted as someone who didn’t entertain often, liked simple foods.
James Buchanan- turtle soup, cabbage, peas
Abraham Lincoln- bacon, honey, chicken fricassee
Andrew Johnson- hopping john, wild poultry
Ulysses S. Grant- unknown, but for breakfast, he was supposed to have liked cucumber soaked in vinegar. Takes all kinds, I guess.
Rutherford B. Hayes- Cornmeal battercakes, angel cake
James A. Garfield- squirrel soup
Chester A. Arthur- mutton chop with a glass of ale
Grover Cleveland- simple foods like corned beef and cabbage
Benjamin Harrison- corn soup, oysters
William McKinley- boiled fish, red flannel hash
Theodore Roosevelt- Fried chicken. He also drank a lot of coffee.
William Howard Taft- turtle soup
Woodrow Wilson- chicken salad, ham. He also reportedly ate two raw eggs in grape juice for breakfast. Makes Grant seem a little more normal.
Warren G. Harding- chicken pie, sausages
Calvin Coolidge- pickles, chicken
Herbert Hoover- sweet potatoes with marshmallows
Franklin D. Roosevelt- fish chowder, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, fruitcake
Harry S. Truman- Kansas City steaks cooked well done
Dwight D. Eisenhower- rare steaks, beef stew, chicken noodle soup
John F. Kennedy- ice cream with hot fudge, clam chowder
Lyndon B. Johnson- chicken fried steak, cheese and crackers
Richard Nixon- meatloaf, cottage cheese, fresh fruit
Gerald Ford- waffles, cabbage
Jimmy Carter- steak, medium rare
Ronald Reagan- jellybeans, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf
George H.W. Bush- pork rinds
Bill Clinton- chicken enchiladas, tacos, ribs, hamburgers
George W. Bush- all kinds of Mexican food, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Barack Obama- chili, peanuts