World Leader. Seems like an easy job... Make a couple decisions during a lackadaisical 8 hour work day, have a sensible dinner and hit the hay early.
Well, that's not so much the case with some of the most infamous "leaders" and presidents in modern world history. Some say the job went to their heads... I say I went to their bellies! Read on to check out some of the bizarre and shocking food facts and dining habits from some of the most notable names in history.
Hitler – 1933-1945 Germany
Hitler suffered from chronic indigestion and gas which eventually convinced him to become a vegetarian. In the months before he died, it is said that lived off of a diet of mashed potatoes and broth. He was so paranoid of being poisoned, he had a team of 15 taste testers that would taste his food and he would wait 45 minutes to see if they dropped dead before he would eat.
Not only did Hitler choose to dine poorly, but physically his fitness and shape were regularly called into question. For a man trying to design a master fit race, his endorphin raising came in the form of long walks and room pacing. He also was an abuser of drugs. He took over 20 pills a day, stayed high on methamphetamines all day, and then had to take an elephant’s dose worth of Valium to fall asleep at night.
Idi Amin – 1971-1979 Uganda
Idi Amin was the cannibalistic, economy destroying leader of Uganda in the 1970s. This guy was a wackadoo. In ’74 he just kinda proclaimed himself “Conqueror of the British Empire” and the last “Unofficial King of Scotland”. It is said that he would keep the heads of his political enemies in his refrigerator. Though everyone knows him as a cannibal, he denounced these claims saying that human flesh was too salty. However, too salty was not the case when it came to fried chicken, as Amin was said to be a HUGE FAN OF KFC. And oranges. He ate 40 oranges a day to aid and assist in his strong virility.
Mao Tse Tung – 1943 – 1976 PRCC
The only reason I’m putting this guy in here is because of his favorite food, Hong Shao Rou (red glazed pork). You know those bits of red pork in your fried rice? Yeah, essentially those. Red glazed pork is a peasant dish consisting of chunks of braised pork belly with caramelized sugar and rice cooking wine (shaoxing) – think almost like a Chinese cooking sherry.
Benito Mussolini – 1922-1945 Italy, Executed, Fascist Party
I haven’t been able to confirm this, but I think his wife killed him because of his stench! His favorite food?? A raw garlic salad with olive oil, which he said promoted heart health. His wife is on record saying his odor was “unbearable” (LOL, he should have been eating Black Garlic!)
Surprisingly, he did not eat the carb or meat laden Italian dishes so revered of his country, and he also turned his nose up at French food calling it ”useless”. He also drank a gallon of milk a day to calm his gastric pains from all of the garlic eating, but had to hide it from Hitler because it would have been perceived as “unfascist”.
Josef Stalin – Russia 1929-1963 USSR
Time for a SUPER FUN FACT: One of Stalin’s personal chefs was Spiridon Putin – grandfather of Vladimir Putin! This Georgian native dictator held all night banquets that lasted 6 hours from 11p-5a and became a refined form of torture due to mandatory participation of drinking games, singing and dancing. Comrade Josip Broz “Tito” of Yugoslavia could only keep up with the toasting by vomiting into his jacket sleeve.
Napoleon Bonaparte – France 1804-1812 – (Who will also be featured in this week’s, I Found This Interesting…)
Though thought to have died from being poisoned, new evidence suggests stomach cancer from poor diet likely caused his death. My words here, but when he was out on campaign, he stuck to his 4 basic food groups: beef, beans, bread, and brew (in the form of cheap wine). After his exile, his diet did not improve, it actually got worse as he indulged in more fatty and rich foods which contributed greatly to his weight gain.
Kim Jong II (1994-2011) North Korea
This guy sounded like a real (rice krispies – sorry I had to) treat… It is said that he had a very sizable team of women to make ensure that every single grain of rice that was served to him was identical in shape, size, and color. Glad his diet wasn’t based on snowflakes… (insert comedic rimshot noise).
Anyway, among his favorite foods was dog meat soup. Which, like Amin, he thought was good for immunity and virility. It is also said that he was the largest world-wide customer of Hennessey.
And now for his kiddo…
Kim Jong Un – N.Korea 2011-Present
Right off the bat, he wins for World’s Unhealthiest Leader (Health Fitness Revolution). He’s a fat slob of a cigarette smoking drunk. He’s lives a sedentary lifestyle and has ballooned in size due to his diet since taking office. His favorite food is Swiss Cheese. It is said that he will consume two bottles of champagne by himself in a sitting, and is a massive binge drinker. As his father is thought to have died from diabetes and hypertension, the genetic statistics of us having to worry about Rocket-Man for too much longer are slim. At 5’9” he weighs in at a whoppin’ 250 lbs. – but, but… being overweight in Korean culture is thought to be a sign of Good Health, so I don’t freakin’ know. And the favorite drink? Johnny Blue.
(I ordered Johnny Blue once – didn’t know what it was. Should’ve probably been suspicious when the server asked me if I was sure that’s what I wanted. Luckily for me, I was out having a drink with good ol’ pops.. unluckily for my pops, I was out having a drink with him… Thanks again, DAD! )
And to finish it all off, here’s a couple fun facts about American Presidents:
Ulysses S Grant #18 1869-1877
Although Grant was a central figure in some of the most horrific battles in American History, he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. Even his steaks had to be burnt to an unrecognizable crisp because of this debilitating phobia!
Teddy Roosevelt 1901-1909 #26
Sickly as a child, diet is what transformed this meager kiddo into the safari huntin’ Trust Buster we all remember from the turn of the century! Too bad he was in the Navy, because he could’ve been the Original Colonel! Roosevelt had a deep and longing love for fried chicken smothered in white gravy. Apparently, eating fried chicken any other way was an abomination, and if it wasn’t smothered in gravy, he wouldn’t eat it.
Richard Nixon 1969-1974 #37
This guy needed to go. How can you trust someone who loved putting ketchup on cottage cheese? In all seriousness though, Nixon actually consumed a very healthy diet consisting largely on fruits and vegetables. He also ate a lot of seafood and in the hot months, preferred cold dishes like gazpacho, vegetable mousses, and cold poached salmon.
I hope you enjoyed my food finds about these world leaders interesting. I'm not going to put out any recipes this weeks, because.. well.... But next week, the follow up to this will be about the evolution of the American MRE (Meal ready to eat) and we will break down one of the more "sought after" meals.. Southwestern Beef and Bean, but make the recipes from scratch!