We already talked about Trump's atrocious eating habits, along with throwing some shade on Biden's meeting snacks. However, the history of presidents eating strange things goes further back than these two. Richard Nixon's beloved combo of cottage cheese and ketchup will go down in history as a presidential snack we never need to try.
Presidential Food Preferences
The food habits of the Oval Office have always been a point of interest, as they provide a small window into the American president's life. George Washington had dentures, so he stuck with soft foods, and was famous for eating buttery mush cakes and tea for breakfast. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, is known for popularizing ice cream, tomatoes, mac n cheese, and French fries.
One of the best presidential food moments was when FDR served Queen Elizabeth hot dogs, showing her how to eat them. More recently, we all became aware that Trump loves ice cream and fast food, especially McDonald's Big Macs, along with meatloaf. When he displayed his intense devotion to his mother's meatloaf recipe and made New Jersey Governor Chris Christie eat it with him at the White House, the American public watched with varying reactions.
Ronald Reagan was famous for his love of hamburger soup, and Bill Clinton was a huge fan of cheeseburgers. On the other end of the spectrum, President Obama was known for his healthy lifestyle. The Obamas grow their own veggies and sustain a healthy diet; Mrs. Obama even has a Netflix show about healthy eating!
Nixon was also a huge fan of meatloaf, so much so that the White House printed out his wife's meatloaf recipe on stationary to make it easier to distribute. However, it wasn't just meatloaf that Nixon was obsessed with. It turns out he also had a deep love of cottage cheese and ketchup. Apparently, his staff wasn't fully briefed on his favorite foods, and they could be found frantically driving around in a limo the night before his inauguration in search of cottage cheese.
Cottage Cheese and Ketchup
This combo has to be the weirdest thing ever seen in the White House. Although his love of cottage cheese with this popular condiment is well documented, no one is sure when President Nixon preferred to indulge. The official Presidential library website says that "President Nixon's favorite breakfast usually consisted of cottage cheese (garnished with either ketchup and/or black pepper), fresh fruit, wheat germ, and coffee. President Nixon also enjoyed yogurt, which was flown in from California every day."
However, in another account, it's reported that Nixon prefers his ketchup and cottage cheese later in the day. Marie Smith of The Washington Post said that "His breakfast is served by Fina Sanchez, wife of Manolo, both Castilians who came to New York via Cuba and live in the servants' quarters of the Nixon apartment. Nixon's breakfast fare is always the same: Fresh orange juice, half a grapefruit, cold cereal and skim milk, and coffee. Sometimes Mrs. Nixon joins him for coffee."
She later adds that cottage cheese comes later on, and sometimes includes other (more normal) toppings like peaches or oranges. Still others say that the cottage cheese-ketchup combo is a myth, and that Nixon never consumed such a strange meal! Unfortunately, the American public will never know whether Nixon truly loved cottage cheese and ketchup, but whether he did or not, I don't think many of us will be trying the combo anytime soon.