Obama: Hold the Beets and Bring on the Pork Chops
Obama’s favorite food is fried chicken, but he has also bragged about his culinary specialty, a “mean chili.” Though he has a weakness for French fries, the skinny president usually makes healthier choices, like tilapia, which he used to order frequently at Calypso Cafe in Hyde Park, according to a waitress there. He prefers dressing his cheeseburgers with Dijon mustard. Back in college he ate his pizza Hawaiian-style, with pineapple and ham. In Dreams From My Father, he revealed that he ate grasshopper, dog, and snake while living in Indonesia as a child. Note to the White House chef: Obama hates beets.But Obama, like most married people, doesn’t get to make unilateral diet decisions. Michelle Obama has made food policy her signature issue, with an organic vegetable garden on the White House East Lawn and a health drive that “inspired” the White House to shed more than 100 pounds collectively and cut down on coffee. That’s not to say that it’s all arugula and bean curd at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: For the White House’s latest Super Bowl party, good old hamburgers and hot dogs were on offer. Barack’s latest culinary obsessions are some pork chops he ate while visiting Davenport, Iowa — brined for 24 hours in cinnamon, salt, and sugar, before being grilled and finished off in the oven.
Romney: Homemade Granola and Subway
On the kind of diet that most presidential campaigners suffer through — daily stops at greasy spoons and mammoth-portion eateries — you’d think they’d all tend to the rotund. Romney, however, has maintained quite a few healthy habits. (See Taste in Alcohol, Favorite Hobby.) In 2007, the Times reported that Romney’s wife bakes him granola, which she packs into gallon ziplock bags, and that he also eats such un-American foods as fruit, yogurt, and water. But he does have a few redeeming everyman tastes: turkey on wheat at Quiznos and Subway; the “delicious” jalapeño chicken sandwich and burgers at Carl’s Jr. Romney even claims to have a special soft spot for the Golden Arches, especially Big Macs and chocolate shakes according to his 2008 communications director Eric Fehrnstrom, intimately involved in his current campaign. He’s even picked sides in the all-important Pepsi vs. Coke debate. “They were all the same to me [as a kid]: sweet, delicious, and, because my Mother frowned on caffeine drinks, rare,” he wrote in Turnaround. “But I began to associate Coke with all sorts of things I like: smiling young people, sports, music, the Olympics, and recently, polar bears. Those associations make me ‘feel good’ about Coke, a lot better than I do about RC Cola (are you still out there RC?). So when I pick up a twelve-pack at the grocery store or step up to a soft drink machine, I’ll push the Coke button (of course caffeine-free, Mom) even if it costs a little more.”