Each president has favorite dishes that they are famous for enjoying. Bill Clinton loved McDonald’s, Ronald Reagan was a fan of licorice flavored-jelly beans and Gerald Ford loved pot roast.
So, how does one dine like today’s candidates?
Well, it’s been reported that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoys peanut butter and honey sandwiches, along with Kashi cereals, pita and hummus and organic applesauce. President Barack Obama reportedly loves a particular Chicago pizzeria, and is also a fan of homemade chili and the fresh veggies from the White House Kitchen Garden.
Since you probably won’t find those items on the menu when you sit down to dine as you await the election results tonight, The Dish team took a look at some famous foods from each candidate’s home town. Whether you’re voting red or blue this year, we’re sure there’s something here that will satisfy your tastes!
Mitt Romney is originally from Michigan, but he and wife Ann have made Boston their home for many years. If you want to dine like the New Englanders, try:
New England Clam Chowder – This hearty soup dates back to at least 1836, where it was served at Ye Olde Union Oyster House in Boston, a restaurant that is still in business today! Made with milk or cream-based chowder, onions, potatoes, and of course clams, oyster crackers are commonly added for contrast The natural Boston vs. New York rivalry comes into play here, as Bostonians will vehemently argue the superiority of the New England clam chowder over the Manhattan variety.
Baked Beans – The city isn’t nicknamed “Beantown” for nothing. True Boston baked beans are made with special recipe for the sauce that includes molasses and salted pork, which gives them a sweet and very robust flavor. While some people may save baked beans for picnics or family gatherings, Bostonians will indulge in this dish for any type of meal!
Lobsters – While Maine may catch the most lobsters, there may not be a city that eats more lobster than Boston. Believe it or not, before seeing its initial spike in popularity in the mid-19th century, lobsters were considered to be a lower class food! Whether you eat it steamed, boiled, baked, newburg –style, or as a part of a bisque, there’s nothing lower class about this delicacy.
Clams – This seafood dish has been caught and served in the Boston area dating back to the 19th century. Fried clams are a staple at seaside Boston shacks, and were one of the first types of “fast food”. Steamed clams are a lighter alternative, but they also wonderfully soak up flavors like white wine, butter, lemon, and garlic.
President Obama and wife Michelle have been known to stop in and grab a bite at their favorite Chicago eateries when they pass through town. If you want to dine like the Windy City duo, try:
Chicago-style hot dog – If you’re coming to Chicago, you better get a Chicago dog. The Chicago-style version “dragged through the garden,” topped with mustard, onions, tomato slices, a dill pickle slice, neon green relish, celery salt, and depending on who you ask: sport peppers, all on a poppy seed bun. While occasionally variations of these ingredients are accepted, ketchup is not one of them. Many Chicago establishments do not even carry ketchup in their restaurants!
Deep-dish Pizza – Often called Chicago-style pizza, deep-dish flips the sauce and cheese/toppings order, and features a very thick and crunchy crust. First created at a Pizzeria Uno in 1943, today there is fierce debate amongst Chicagoans regarding who makes the best version of the Chicago pie. But regardless of where you eat, deep-dish pizza is hearty enough to fill any appetite.
Italian Beef – Dating back to the 1930s where it first appeared in the infamous Chicago union stockyards, the Italian beef sandwich is made with dripping pieces of seasoned roast beef, served on a Italian roll, which is frequently dipped in the meat juices as well. The sandwich can be served hot (with giardiniera) or sweet (with green sweet peppers), either of which will give it a even more distinct flavor.
Maxwell Street Polish – First cooked and sold in 1939 on, you guessed it, Maxwell Street, at a huge open air market where Chicagoans would be drawn in by the smell of the sizzling sausage and onions. The polish sausage can be either grilled or fried, and is topped with grilled onions, mustard, and optional sport peppers for additional heat.
No matter how you vote, we hope you found something delicious to sample on your next visit to the candidate’s home towns! Have some interesting facts that we missed? Share your thoughts below.