I would not expect a list of favorite White House breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to be all that interesting, but Sarah Marshall has posted one on The Awl and it’s actually endlessly entertaining. Here’s some of what we learned:

  • Some presidents favored exactly the food you’d expect (George W. Bush: “grilled cheese sandwiches made with Kraft singles and white bread”).
  • Others were more surprising (Richard Nixon: wheat germ).
  • Presidents from the 1980s and 1990s were not big on vegetables.
  • Presidents seem to enjoy foods that sound like fetishes. Eisenhower liked “prune whip.” Andrew Jackson ate “leather pants.” James Buchanan wanted “calf’s head dressed as terrapin,” which is kinky.
  • Ulysses S. Grant liked to roll wheat bread into balls and “shoot them at his children, pretending they were ammunition.”
  • James K. Polk refused to eat food that looked too French.
  • John Quincy Adams ate crackers and water for dinner.
  • Wine-drinking presidents (Jefferson, Jackson, and Theodore Roosevelt) could beat up beer-drinking presidents (Kennedy, Taft, and Chester A. Arthur), though George Washington would fight for both teams.

If you want to know more about who was eating turtle soup, cream jumbles, and Daniel Webster’s punch, head over the The Awl.

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