There’s one way you may not have considered celebrating Presidents Day this year — by focusing on the freakishly famous foods past presidents have loved to eat. Did you know Richard Nixon had a weird thing about ketchup? Turns out that’s only the tip of the picky POTUS iceberg.
1. Bill Clinton’s allergies
Bill Clinton is allergic to both chocolate and milk. In a cruel twist of fate, it turns out he is also allergic to flour. Those three allergies combined must make things pretty rough on this dessert-loving president.
2. Andrew Jackson’s milk love
Andrew Jackson kept a cow on the grounds of the White House to ensure he could have fresh milk at all times.
3. Ronald Reagan’s jelly beans
Reagan sure did love his jelly beans. Not only did Jelly Belly craft a blueberry flavor just for him, but his 1981 inauguration featured over 3 tons of sweet beans. We can only assume he didn’t eat them all himself, but as the president, that was certainly his prerogative. In fact, a portrait using 10,000 of the sweet little treats now hangs in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
4. Dwight Eisenhower’s tamales
Dwight Eisenhower sold tamales on the streets of Kansas to help provide for his family.
5. Barack Obama’s chili preference
6. Andrew Jackson’s popcorn parties
Andrew Jackson was a true family man. He hosted popcorn parties at his horseshoe-shaped table in the state dining room, where he indulged in popcorn with extra butter.
7. Thomas Jefferson the gourmet
Thomas Jefferson was a well-known gourmet who brought french fries to America and helped to popularize ice cream.
8. Ulysses S. Grant’s bread quirk
Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t as serious as he seems in his pictures. He loved rolling up bread into balls and throwing them at his kids at the dinner table.
9 . George W. Bush’s simple menu
“Dubya” had a short list of items on his weekday lunch menu: BLTs, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, an occasional burger and grilled cheese sandwiches made with Kraft Singles on white bread. That concludes the “that makes sense” portion of this list.
10. William Howard Taft’s stew
William Howard Taft kept a chef on staff, whose only duty was to cook his Teenage Mutant Ninja stew. Sorry for that mental image, but in fairness, Michael Bay ruined it first.
11. Harrison’s and Garfield’s special stew
William Henry Harrison and James Garfield loved themselves some squirrel stew.
12. George Washington’s love of cherries
Washington never cut down their tree, but he did love cherries. He had to remove his false teeth to eat them, but those teeth weren’t wooden. They were made of teeth from dead solders and hippopotamus ivory. Now you know why they told us they were made of wood.
13. Thomas Jefferson and his cheese
The town of Cheshire, Massachusetts, gifted Jefferson a 1,235-pound block of cheese made from the milk of every cow in the city. The cheese then spent two years ripening right in the White House.
14. Richard Nixon’s ketchup quirk
Richard Nixon enjoyed ketchup over cottage cheese and pineapple for breakfast.
15. Calvin Coolidge’s raw wheat
Calvin Coolidge liked boiled raw wheat and rye for breakfast — which he enjoyed while some poor bastard had to rub his head with Vaseline. Can’t make this stuff up, people.
16. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Fresca
After Lyndon B. Johnson stopped drinking, he developed such an obsession with Fresca that he had a button installed in the Oval Office so he could get it on demand.
17. Woodrow Wilson’s raw eggs
Woodrow Wilson’s breakfast often consisted of two raw eggs mixed in grape juice. Yum?
18. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s serving faux pas
In 1939, Queen Elizabeth became the first British monarch to set foot in the States since that whole messy revolution thing. FDR served her hot dogs with beer, which they enjoyed alongside White House blue-collar staff. Queen Elizabeth didn’t know how to eat it, and rumor has it FDR got an earful from his mommy.
19. John Adams’ cider-drinking abilities
Quick! What do you drink the minute you get out of bed? If you’re John Adams, it’s a large tankard of cider. Probably not the hard stuff, but jeez!
20. Gerald Ford’s odd lunch
Gerald Ford enjoyed a scoop of butter pecan every day at lunch… on a scoop of cottage cheese covered with A.1. Steak Sauce and a sliced onion or quartered tomato.
More fun food facts
Updated by Bethany Ramos on 2/9/2016