Abraham Lincoln's Favorite Foods

How To Eat Like Abe Lincoln

If your favorite movie of the year was "Lincoln," or if he was simply one of your most admired Presidents, you should consider whipping up some frontier-style food in honor of the sixteenth Commander In Chief.

Daniel Day Lewis might be a bit of a beef head, but what did the actual Lincoln enjoy eating? For starters, pheasant, duck, seafood and cakes were among his favorite foods.


During Lincoln's time, egg prices were disproportionately high. It is believed that Mary Lincoln, a notably frugal homemaker, would have avoided eggs altogether for this reason, so her cake recipes were often prepared sans eggs. Blanched almonds and currants were also often used. If an eggless recipe isn't your bag, The Washington Post has also discovered an alleged Mary Todd Lincoln White Cake recipe, and egg whites are called for. It sounds like a lighter Angel Food cake, but is actually a sweet, if ordinary, layer cake worth trying.

lincoln cake


Lincoln's second inaugural dinner (which hilariously evolved into a food fight), featured poultry, tarts, jellies, and, most notably, lots of oysters. Terrapin-stew (yep, that's a stew made with turtles) was also in vogue at the time. The Smithsonian describes the menu as, "French via England, with some American ingredients," featuring "oyster stew and pickled oysters," which, "are distinctly American and are found on many 19th century menus." If you're looking to try something other than slurping oyster meat directly from the shells, try out an Oyster stew that resembles Lincoln's inaugural main course.

lincol oysters

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