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

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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:

(All images: Library of Congress)