Layer Cakes to Doughnuts: What Presidential Foods Tell Us

NPR

What presidential candidate doesn't play up a love of a hometown favorite, from pancakes at a diner, to a cheeseburger? While these details can seem trivial, food has played a significant role in the White House throughout history. Just take First Lady Dolly Madison's famous layer cake from 1809. She used egg whites to lighten the batter, a pretty novel concept at the time. Read on for more presidential foods and even recipes.

Looking through the food of each administration gives insight to the era as well. Harry S. Truman and his wife Bess made famous a recipe for Ozark Pudding, a somewhat humble apple and walnut pudding cake, while Kennedy and Regan brought about more glamourous tastes. President Bill Clinton had a reputation for downing doughnuts in his heyday, but these days he's making just as much news with his strict vegan diet. Michelle Obama made waves with her White House garden and devotion to vegetables, and her cauliflower mac and cheese conveyed those ideals as well. Now the question is what will the next administration bring to the table?

Read more and get the recipes: Presidential Foods And What They Say About Our Leaders at NPR's The Salt

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

(Images: Jim Young for Reuters)