All The President's Meals
February 18, 2019 9:27 AM   Subscribe

A History of State Dinners Foreign Policy examines the history of American food, American Presidents, and the image the U.S. wants to project to the world. And yes, Truman served Winston Churchill Fritos.

FDR's terrible salads -- JFK's Francophilia and rooftop vegetables -- “You can eat at home what you want, but you do not serve barbecued spareribs at a banquet with the ladies in white gloves” -- Wild Rice, Wild Rice Everywhere -- Everyone wants Kennedy's staff back -- "Reagan may well have had the best taste in wine of any president. Nixon would likely disagree. Then again, Nixon wouldn’t have shared his wine." -- The Mousse Decade -- Inappropriate behavior around Queen Elizabeth.
posted by Hypatia (5 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
A very interesting an detailed history - however:
His taste in food was at times as questionable as the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—according to then-Executive Chef Walter Scheib’s memoir, Bush insisted that any hot dogs prepared in the White House should be steamed and never grilled.
[Record-scratch]. Them's fighting words.
posted by cardboard at 10:36 AM on February 18, 2019 [8 favorites]

Upon looking it up, the "frozen cheese with watercress" sounds like it might be tastier than the name suggests.
posted by Lexica at 12:05 PM on February 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Obligatory Nixon's last White House lunch, in which the 70s are summed up in one sad photo.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 12:34 PM on February 18, 2019 [10 favorites]

And yes, Truman served Winston Churchill Fritos.

As a child who grew up in the seventies I think it is important for people to know that "The greatest thing since sliced bread" was used extensively and unironically, Velveeta was special cheese for guests and heavily processed food was considered the exciting magical future that existed in the present.

Different times were different in so many ways that people either forget if they experienced them or cannot conceive of if they didn't experience them.
posted by srboisvert at 12:56 PM on February 18, 2019 [8 favorites]

Who knows, maybe Churchill enjoyed his serving of Fritos! One of Churchill’s favorite dishes was baked bones. I’m not making this up.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:19 PM on February 18, 2019

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