Okay, so we all know the history of the Fourth of July...or maybe some of us have forgotten (middle school was a long time ago, okay?). At whatsGOOD, we kinda zone out about history unless there's something more interesting involved (usually food), so we dug into our database of 417,000 restaurants and over 31,000,000 dishes--and our history books--to bring you some culinary factoids about our Founding Fathers they never taught us in school. From their favorite foods to where you can dine like a president, here's the lowdown.
We all know by now that the whole George Washington and the cherry tree story is a bunch of mumbo jumbo. But in the spirit of our first president's mythical mischief, we could only assume that if George were around today, you could probably find him scarfing down cherry pie at Killer E.S.P. (the "P" stands for "pie") in Alexandria near Washington's home at Mount Vernon. Their self-proclaimed "dangerously delicious" cherry pies are worthy of the prez himself.
"T. Jeff" was quite emphatic about his affinity for macaroni, which he first encountered in France and helped popularize in the US, which makes sense, considering he lived a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. The Mac and Cheese is a favorite at Eppie's in Charlottesville, located near Jefferson's longtime home at Monticello.
"Charlie Sheen is dead," "Tom Cruise is gay" --the internet rumor mill is constantly swirling, but did you hear the one about James Madison trying to create a National Brewery and Secretary of Beer? After some digging we found no evidence that this actually happened, but true or not, we like to think that our Founding Fathers enjoyed knocking back a brewski as much as the rest of us.
Madison's wife Dolley was also known for whipping up delicious ice creams (without the luxury of modern freezers, mind you). Madison's favorite flavors were apricot and pink peppermint, which have been incorporated into a rotating menu of gourmet ice creams at 24 Crows in Flint Hill, just north of Madison's home at Montpelier.
Between all the juice bars and health food stores today, Ben Franklin would have fit in with the organic, earthy-crunchy crowd. He supposedly introduced tofu and kale to America, two ingredients that have maintained their popularity (kale chip, anyone?). HipCityVeg in Philly serves up a tangy Kale Lemonade, a twist on a Fourth of July staple. But he wasn't a total health nut. Ever see those tacky T-shirts that say "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy"? Well, Ben Franklin actually said that, and boy are we on the same page.
It seems like the Founding Fathers were on to something with all this beer drinking, and we have to say, we're impressed with their ability to lay the foundations of our nation after knocking back a few (we can't even drunk tweet without getting called out for it). Back in the day, City Tavern (est. 1773) served as an unofficial meeting spot for the First Continental Congress, and the Founding Father's celebrated the first official Fourth of July here as well. Today, they serve up dishes inspired by eighteenth century Colonial America, including Braised Rabbit, Lobster Pie, and a spicy dish called West Indies Pepperpot made with beef, taro root, habanero, and allspice.
Cheat Sheet Of The Founding Father Favorite Dishes
Kale Lemonade at HipCityVeg
Beer...lots of it
Mac and Cheese at Eppie's
West Indies Pepperpot at City Tavern
Cherry Pie at Killer E.S.P.
Apricot and Honey or Peppermint Ice Cream at 24 Crows
Bonus: Ales of the Revolution made exclusively for City Tavern by Yards Brewing Company, brewed with authentic presidential recipes
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Tweet us if you know any other presidential food favorites.