As a previous Takeout article pointed out, we glean a lot of cultural information about our presidents by what they eat, whether it’s Ronald Reagan relishing jellybeans or Bill Clinton jogging to McDonald’s. Our current president has also put his stamp on the White House diet, but as this thorough Eater article describes, his first year in office offered little for the foodie, but plenty of evidence toward Trump’s selfish personal doctrine.
Trump’s sparsely populated inauguration in January was followed by an impressive dinner, featuring “Seven Hills Angus beef with dark chocolate and juniper jus, potato gratin, and Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp with saffron sauce.” But the cake was ridiculed for being a near-copy of President Obama’s inauguration cake, which the bakery owner said she was told to replicate. Trump’s big food story the next month was his much-mocked steak dinner at BLT Prime, in which it was revealed that he likes his meat well-done, with a side of ketchup. And who could forget his spring dinner at Mar-A-Lago, hosting Chinese president Xi Jinping, where Trump “boasted about launching a missile strike on a Syrian air base while feasting on ‘the most beautiful chocolate cake in the world.’”?
If Reagan will forever be tied to jellybeans and Jimmy Carter to peanuts, Trump’s personal emblem may be a Diet Coke can: In April it was revealed that he has a special red button on his desk just to order more of his favorite beverage. By the end of the year, it was reported that he was guzzling dozens of cans of it a day. Continuing his junk-food fetish, he also instructs the White House staff to replicate his favorite McDonald’s dishes in-house, and when in other countries, bypassing sushi in Japan, for example, for more familiar fare like burgers.
But as we’ve pointed out, none of these anecdotes may reveal as much about Trump’s true nature than the May White House dinner in which “three Time correspondents noted that Trump received what appeared to be Thousand Island dressing during the salad course while everyone else got a vinaigrette, as well as extra sauce with his entree and a Diet Coke when everyone else was offered water. As for dessert, POTUS was served a slice of chocolate pie with two scoops of ice cream while all the other guests only received one scoop.” As his policy choices like the heinous new tax bill indicate, “more for me, less for everyone else” appears to be a philosophy Trump adheres to far beyond the dinner table.