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Favorite Meals of Your Favorite Historical Figures

When asked "Which famous person would you want to spend a day with?" take into consideration the favorite meals of your favorite historical figures.

By Cato ConroyPublished 7 years ago 9 min read

If you're a real history aficionado, you probably have thought about what it'd be like to hang out with your favorite historical figures. You might have wanted to guzzle beer with Churchill, talk philosophy with Plato, or even smoke pot with Jerry Garcia. Of course, these things are pretty obvious.

What isn't obvious, though, is what they'd eat if they spent a day with you. Though it's obscure knowledge, there are records out there of what many famous people in history enjoyed eating. Some of their favorite meals sound awesome, but others might just surprise you.

Winston Churchill: Turtle Soup

Winston Churchill was a massive fan of soups - but only if they weren't the creamy type. Soup of all sorts was his shtick, and it was really part of his daily diet. Every night, he'd sip on a cold consomme before bedtime, and during the day, his favorite soup was always turtle soup.

Oddly, turtle soup stopped being a British fad shortly after the war and actually getting a can of the stuff is pretty hard to do. As of right now, one museum in the UK still stocks it - so if you want to try it, it may take a long hike to do so.

If you aren't a fan of turtle soup, there are other dishes that he was known for loving. These include Indian curries, cheeses, and his cook's best recipe, Sole Champeux.

Herbert Hoover: Sweet Potatoes

The portly president was known for making sweeping changes to the nation, but when it came to food, he was pretty old school. His favorite dish was simply well-prepared sweet potatoes using his family's recipe.

You can actually try the recipe out for yourself, since the US government actually catalogued some favorite presidential recipes over the years. We hear that Hoover's sweet potatoes really work great with turkey.

Napoleon Bonaparte: Marengo Chicken

One of history's most famous generals was a man that most people would expect to have excellent taste in food. His favorite dish, Chicken Marengo, was actually created for him during the battle of Marengo. (Hence, the name.)

What ended up happening was that Bonaparte hadn't eaten anything all day, and supplies worthy of such a conqueror were short in demand. His cook, worried for the ruler's wellbeing, sent out some soldiers to collect some food from the local farmhouses.

All they came back with were some shrimp, some chicken, tomatoes, garlic, and some eggs. The cook ended up using all the ingredients to create a dish that he hoped would help bring up Napoleon's spirits. It succeeded and became a favorite for centuries later.

Abraham Lincoln: Apples, Coffee, And Bacon

Ol' Honest Abe was one of the most modest presidents to have ever sat in the White House. Rarely ever seen drinking and known for his massive levels of self-control, Abraham Lincoln's morning breakfast was as steady as it could have been - and it was also his favorite meal.

His idea of a great dish would be bacon, apples, and maybe an egg, with coffee on the side. His taste is proof that you don't need to be wealthy to enjoy a wholesome meal.

Charles Darwin: Armadillo

Charles Darwin's initial claim to fame wasn't his theory of evolution. Back when he was still studying at his college, he was a member of The Glutton Club - a school club that focused on fine dining, specializing in serving up massive quantities of exotic cuts of meat.

His love of trying exotic meats brought him to try out alligator, hawks, and owls, among many others. But, according to him, the best meal he ever had was a dish that was made from an armadillo. Darwin said that the meat "tasted like duck," but was somehow way better.

History buffs also can tell you that Darwin ate every animal that he ever discovered - including the finches that made him famous. Somehow, this adventurer seems like he might be a little bit too intense to dine with.

Frederick II: Candied Violets

Frederick II was one of the most well-known rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and was one of the most powerful men in the Middle Ages. In his time, he was known for being a somewhat difficult ruler to deal with - at least, if you were a member of the church.

However, there was one way to get close to his heart. Historical annals show that Frederick II had an incorrigible sweet tooth, and absolutely loved eating candied violets whenever the opportunity arose.

These treats are actually rather easy to make. All you need to do is dip edible flowers in water that's saturated with sugar, and wait for them to dry.

Oscar Wilde: Roast Duck

Oscar Wilde was a foodie in his day, and often would attend dinners with his lover, Bosie. Though he's been known to sip fine wine, enjoy caviar, and also sink his teeth into a well-done cut of beef, historical records show that the flamboyantly awesome literary bad boy was a massive fan of duck.

Roast duck, which was popular at the time, really seemed to put a smile on his face, especially when served with a couple of modest side dishes. That being said, he was also happy to eat simpler meals if duck wasn't affordable.

Alfred Hitchcock: Ham Pies

Alfred Hitchcock's corpulent figure definitely belies his love of food, and he had many dishes that often resulted in him binge eating for hours on end. However, if you wanted to guarantee that Hitchcock would be pleased with a meal, the easiest way to do that would be to bake a pie.

His love of pies was a major contributor to his weight gain - particularly if it was a pie stuffed with ham, onion, eggs, and milk. You can actually find the recipe for Hitchcock's favorite ham pie online, but if you're on a diet, you may want to remind yourself that moderation is key.

Mark Twain: Oysters

Mark Twain, when he traveled abroad, often got homesick and wanted some ol' fashioned American food to enjoy. In order to help remember some of them later on, Twain actually wrote down a list of around 60 foods that he would eat after he wrapped up his travels abroad.

Some, such as Virginia bacon, American coffee, and American butter with real milk, were pretty obvious choices. What most people wouldn't have expected is how much he loved oysters.

He enjoyed oysters so much that he devoted five different entries on his list to them. He liked oyster soup, fried oysters, stewed oysters, Blue Points on the half-shell, and oysters roasted in the half-shell.

Yes, he liked oysters a lot.

Mozart: Liver Dumplings And Sauerkraut

Mozart is considered to be one of the finest, most sophisticated composers in history, but you'd never guess it if you were to read his personal letters. Amidst a slew of fart jokes and writings about how awesome the game of billiards is, Mozart also regularly discussed his favorite meals of the day.

Though he did love to talk about all the nice dishes he'd try at balls, his favorite standby has been recorded as liver dumplings with a side of sauerkraut. Yep, you really can't get more Austrian than this composer's tastes.

Virginia Woolfe: Boeuf en Daube a la Niçoise

Woolfe was one of many authors who believed that food was absolutely essential to sparking creativity, and readers of her work wouldn't be surprised. She possessed an amazing talent for describing decadent meals, often to the point that people may have questioned if she actually attended such feasts.

French cuisine held a particularly special place in her heart, and this too, isn't surprising. During her times, it was a very popular and trendy form of food. Fans and friends noted that she often could be spotted eated Boeuf en Daube a la Niçoise - a dish involving beef, green onions, and other vegetables with a side of red wine.

Albert Einstein: Pasta

Very unlike most other men in the 40s and 50s, Einstein wasn't a fan of meat. In fact, prior to becoming a full vegetarian, he was very vocal about eating meat as a moral issue. The world famous scientist was quoted as telling a friend that “man was not born to be a carnivore” in a letter.

As far as his favorite food goes, Einstein was actually pretty easy to please. Friends and family of the scientist said that his favorite foods were spaghetti and fettucine. So, maybe he would have enjoyed a trip to the Olive Garden?

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Soup OR Mac N' Cheese

Believe it or not, world famous composer Ludwig Van Beethoven had financial troubles most of his life - and he often found solace in drinking a piping hot bowl of soup. But, being Beethoven, bad soup was not something he could tolerate.

His legendary love of soup was pretty widespread, and he was even known for judging people based on their soup-making abilities. At one point, he even said, "Only the pure in heart can make a good soup."

Surprisingly, his other favorite food is equally simple and budget-friendly: mac and cheese. The recipe that he used to love can be found online, and still tastes just as good as it did hundreds of years ago.

Charlie Chaplin: Lamb Stew OR Curry

Actor Charlie Chaplin has become one of the greatest legends that Hollywood ever made, and also was one of the few actors to deliver a stirring speech against the rise of fascism thanks to The Great Dictator. With all the acting and crazy stunts the comedian did, he had to have super-satisfying meals to keep him fueled for the next scene.

Historic records show that Chaplin was a huge fan of a thick, meaty lamb stew. A close second would have to be curry - which was actually taking off in popularity in England at the time.

Oh, and the actor who played the Little Tramp also had a third favorite: stewed beef tripe. But, that's a little bit much to put on one list item, don't you think?

Helen Keller: Hot Dogs

You would think that someone like Helen Keller would have a favorite food that would involve exotic spices or a really satisfying texture to it, right? Well, actually, it was quite the opposite. What Helen Keller enjoyed the most was none other than a simple hot dog on a bun.

It's weird to think that someone who had such a complex personality like her would enjoy something as simple as a hot dog for her favorite meal. But, sometimes it really is the simple pleasures in life that matter the most - and Keller would definitely know!


About the Creator

Cato Conroy

Cato Conroy is a Manhattan-based writer who yearns for a better world. He loves to write about politics, news reports, and interesting innovations that will impact the way we live.

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