Jefferson's Pasta Machine and Martha's Washington's Great Cake: Fascinating Presidential Food History

Did you know that Thomas Jefferson came back from Italy with plans for a pasta machine? Or that Theodore Roosevelt drank about a gallon of coffee every day? These are just a couple facts that from the Library of Congress' collection of Presidential food and dining resources. There's a whole list of books, articles, and internet resources on what the presidents ate over the years. Read on for a few more interesting tidbits.

• Martha Washington's recipe for Great Cake called for 40 eggs, 4 pounds of sugar, half a pint of wine, and brandy, among other things.

• Jefferson did buy a pasta machine, but it "wasn't very durable." So he mostly served hand-cut pasta.

• Teddy Roosevelt really liked his meat (and canned asparagus too).

• Here's a look at Truman's hand-written document on food preferences. If you can decode his handwriting you might see that he likes Mrs. Truman's chocolate cake and chicken dumplings.

• The Food Timeline has presidential food preferences from Washington through Obama. Apparently Garfield liked squirrel soup quite a lot.

You can see more presidential food at the Library of Congress:

Presidential Food: Selected Resource Guide
Library of Congress Blog: Food Fit for a President

(All images: Library of Congress)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.