How to Eat Like George Washington on Presidents' Day

Photo by diego hernandez
Madeira wine was one of Washington's faves.

Presidents' Day is not traditionally a "foodie" holiday, but it should be. Although 18th-century American fare could be a bit hit or miss, our founding father/first president, George W. (the original!), seems to have had good taste in grub. Of Washington's eating habits, his grandson Custis, wrote:

"He ate heartily, but was not particular in his diet, with the exception of fish, of which he was excessively fond. He partook sparingly of dessert, drank a home-made beverage, and from four to five glasses of Madeira wine."

Pescaterian meals where the booze flows like water? That's a dining campaign I can get behind.

Although historians far more knowledgeable than I have discounted the chopping-down-the-tree-cannot-tell-a-lie anecdote, the first president was actually really keen on cherries. Family members have testified to his great enjoyment of the berry; Martha Washington also possessed many recipes for cherry tarts, cakes, pies, etc.

Lest we forgot, the White House did not yet exist during Washington's presidency, so ole Georgie continued living at Mount Vernon after he took the oath of office. Not having his own personal team of chefs, however, did not seem to prevent Washington from eating well at home.

This story continues on the next page.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Now Trending

From the Vault