White House Menus? What Presidential Candidates Love to Eat

You already know their stances on immigration and the economy. But what about the favorite foods of the 2016 presidential candidates? Politicians on the campaign trail often play it safe when expressing preferences and will usually take a bite of any local delicacy — and act like they really enjoy it — if they think it will endear them to voters.

“These meals … reflect that the candidates are trying to connect with the communities they are campaigning in, by eating at the local diner and BBQ fare,” Georgia Pellegrini, author of Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time, told Fox News in 2012.

Yet even the most diplomatic of candidates will usually cop to having a meal or snack that really makes their stomach rumble. From Hillary Clinton’s favorite snack to Donald Trump’s preferred comfort food, here are the foods that some of the leading presidential candidates reach for when they want to chow down

Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton orders food at a Dunkin' Donuts on February 9, 2016 in Nashua, New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton orders food at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Nashua, New Hampshire | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Over her many years in the public eye, we’ve learned a fair amount about Hillary Clinton’s eating habits. As a high school student in Park Ridge, Ill., she enjoyed olive burgers (a burger topped with chopped pimento-stuffed olives) from a local diner, while as first lady she snacked on vegetarian Boca Burgers, according to Slate. For breakfast, the Democratic front-runner prefers well-done scrambled eggs, according to People. But her favorite treat is chocolate; she told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that it’s the food she craves the most.

Ted Cruz

ted cruz eating

Ted Cruz eats a pork chop at the Iowa State Fair | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Texas Senator Ted Cruz prefers to chow down on beef enchiladas and enjoys a pint of Guinness stout when he wants to relax, he told the Dallas Morning News in 2012. But don’t serve him a side of chips and guacamole with his meal. This Republican’s least favorite food is avocado. “I despise avocado. It’s the only food I dislike, and I dislike it passionately,” he told the Des Moines Register. “Which is ironic, because I’m Cuban and my dad grew up with avocado trees in his backyard. My whole family eats avocados like crazy, but I can’t stand them.”

John Kasich

John Kasich campaigns in South Carolina

John Kasich campaigns at a restaurant in South Carolina | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

When it comes to food, Republican John Kasich has a strong pro-carb stance. “My favorite food is pasta. I guess it’s not good for us, but I don’t care,” he told The Skimm. He’s also been known to compare himself to another starchy food in an attempt to sway voters to his side. “I’m the right porridge. One of them is too hot, the other one is too cold, but I got the right temperature,” he told one voter before the New Hampshire caucuses.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio campaigns in south carolina

Marco Rubio campaigns at a Cracker Barrel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Life on the campaign trail is tough, so it’s no wonder that Republican Marco Rubio powers up in the morning with an ultra-healthy breakfast. The Florida Senator’s morning meal of choice is two hard-boiled eggs accompanied by whole-wheat toast, blueberries with honey, orange juice, and black coffee, People magazine reported. But his favorite thing to eat on the campaign trail is a slightly more indulgent chicken quesadilla.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders at campaign rally

Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in Vermont | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton may spar on the debate stage, but there’s one thing they do agree on. Like Clinton, Sanders’s preferred breakfast is scrambled eggs, People reported. For dinner on the campaign trail, he favors pork chops. The Democratic candidate also professes to be a bit of a grill-master. With both those facts in mind, Sanders supporters might want to try this recipe for easy grilled pork chops from the Food Network’s Sunny Anderson.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 (½-inch) bone-in pork chops (about 3 ounces each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, vinegar, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and place in a re-sealable plastic bag with the marinade. Let rest on the counter for 1 hour.

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Remove the pork chops from the bag and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until the pork chop releases from the grill, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. If using a grill pan, cook in batches so you don’t steam the chops.

Donald Trump

donald trump holding slice of pizza

Fired contestant on The Apprentice Stephanie Myers delivers pizza to Donald Trump in 2005 | Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Donald Trump likes cherry-vanilla ice cream, See’s Candies, and hamburgers, and he refuses to eat pizza crust. But one of his favorite foods is meatloaf. His sister still makes this Trump family favorite for him on his birthday, he told Us Weekly, and he also enjoys it served as part of a sandwich, as revealed during an appearance on the Martha Stewart Show.

To make mama Trump’s meatloaf yourself, follow this recipe from One for the Table.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh ground beef
  • 1 finely diced Spanish onion
  • 1 finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 finely diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, finely diced and with seeds removed
  • 2 extra large fresh eggs
  • ⅔ cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ⅔ cup of tomato puree
  • ½ tablespoon of salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato in a large saucepan until the onions are translucent. Let cool.

Combine the ground beef, cooked pepper and onion mixture, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.

Transfer meat mixture to a 14-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Form into a loaf. Pour tomato puree over. Transfer to oven and bake for 40 to 55 minutes, or until the meatloaf is brown and firm.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes, or as part of a sandwich.

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