“Michelle [Obama] and I would always joke: Not six. Not eight,” Sam Kass, Obama’s former personal chef, was quoted as saying in the post. “Always seven almonds.”
It seems this was a case of the writer taking the joke too literally.
Obama clarifies the issue to the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie in the video above:
“One night, [Michelle and Sam] were talking about me and teasing me about how disciplined I was that I didn’t have potato chips or I didn’t have a piece of cake. And this is when Michelle said, ‘Yes and he just has seven almonds. That’s it,’ to really drive home the point that I needed to loosen up a little bit. And Sam relayed this joke to the New York Times in the article, and somehow it was relayed as if I was counting out these seven almonds. And all my friends were calling up and saying this seems a little anal; this is kinda weird. I had to explain to them ― no, this was a joke.”
As Obama food news goes, this isn’t quite as Earth-shattering as when he involved himself with the Times’ guacamole and pea debate of 2015, which coincidentally went viral exactly one year and one day before the Times’ almond profile on the president was published.