NY Post: Here’s What Abe and Teddy Liked to Eat

A state dinner at the White House is never simply a meal for the president and his hungry VIP guests. Rather, it’s a “forum for politics and entertainment at the highest level,” writes author Alex Prud’homme in “Dinner with the President: Food, Politics and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House,” (Knopf.) “The president is both a symbol of the nation and a flesh-and-blood human being and his food choices bridge those disparate roles.”

The first big White House dinner was served in 1874 when President Ulysses Grant — then the youngest commander in chief at 46 — served guest of honor King Kalakaua of Hawaii a whopping 29 courses. The dishes included trout, squab, and beef tenderloin, along with the chef’s vegetable elixir that had no equal — “a little smoother than peacock’s brains,” but not quite equal to a dish of nightingale tongues.”