Presidential palates: Culinary historian shares insights on White House cuisine
If the walls of the White House kitchens could talk, they'd probably reveal some fascinating secrets about our presidents and their eating habits.
In February, we honor two of our nation's most influential leaders, Abraham Lincoln (born Feb. 12) and George Washington (Feb. 22), with the national holiday that has just passed. Our presidents' concept of fine dining is just as diverse as their politics, says a culinary historian at Johnson & Wales University in Providence.
"There is a huge variety of interest in what good food is" among the commanders in chief, begins Chef Peter Kelly, associate professor of culinary arts. Kelly, who teaches courses in classical French cuisine and modern interpretations of New World foods, is a former food correspondent for The Boston Globe.
According to the culinary historian, Washington had very simple eating habits and preferred fish. While fond of cherries and other fruits, our first president ate desserts sparingly, but did enjoy a glass or two of wine....
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