Seems like we’ve been hearing the name Richard Nixon batted around a lot lately. Who knows why? Could be anything. But whatever the reason, presidential taste in food is always an interesting topic. And Nixon’s tastes were fairly healthy, even if some were a bit strange.
The former president’s go-to snacks and food habits shine a light on the weird proclivities of the man himself. Here are six things President Richard Milhous Nixon loved to have around the house and the White House. We’re sure there’s nothing we can learn by comparing them to things in the Oval Office at any other time.
- Watch President Trump Make Meatloaf on a Vintage Martha Stewart Episode
- What a Donald Trump Presidency Means For Food Policy
- Two Classic American Dishes in One Sandwich
1. Cottage Cheese (with Ketchup)
Yes, you read that right. Ketchup. Nixon, a Californian by birth, was early on the health food train as the Left Coast often has been. For lunch he favored cottage cheese and fresh yogurt, and legend has it that his last meal as President was a dollop of the curded cream with pineapple. What we can’t explain is his penchant for enjoying it topped with tomato ketchup, which is unappetizing in verbal or visual form. However based on the source of this rumored treat, it could have been a creation of political expediency more than anything.
Despite his light lunch fare, Nixon’s dinner of choice was a comfort food classic. There’s even a family recipe from his wife Pat which is half beef and half pork, if you want to eat like a deposed king, as it were.
3. Spicy Pepperoni Salad
According to the "White House Family Cookbook" (1987), this odd-sounding dish was also a lunch favorite (here's what we assume is a similar recipe). Salads in general, made with fresh produce, especially from California and Florida, were a big hit with the entire Nixon family.
4. Ice Cream Sundaes
According to most accounts, Nixon was a light eater. But some references in newspapers during his presidency indicate that even after a larger meal, he’d still make room for a cold treat.
5. Baked Grapefruit
Apparently another Nixon family favorite, this dessert was another that featured their appetite for fresh fruit. The source on this doesn’t say whether it was of the brûlée variety, but typically this dish is served with a layer of melted brown sugar on top.
6. Fine French Wine
While a lot of people like fancy wine, the 37th president’s affinity also played into his “Tricky Dick” moniker. At the time, the White House was instructed to buy and serve cheap vintages to guests with a towel wrapped around the label, while Nixon hoarded all the Bordeaux for himself.