The Surprisingly Humble Sandwich That Was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Favorite

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The Surprisingly Humble Sandwich That Was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Favorite

You Won’t Believe What FDR Loved to Eat During the Great Depression

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, known for his leadership during some of America’s most challenging times, also had a surprisingly simple favorite food that contrasts sharply with his sophisticated reputation. Despite growing up in an affluent family and enjoying refined tastes in cocktails (his favorite being the martini), FDR’s culinary preferences, especially during his presidency, were humble and frugal.

The Frugal First Lady and the White House Menu

Serving as President during the Great Depression and World War II, FDR and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt faced a nation struggling with food shortages and rationing. In a bid to show solidarity with the American people, Eleanor, who herself was not known for her cooking prowess, implemented a thrifty approach to the White House menu. This frugality often led to unusual and less-than-palatable meals, such as deviled eggs with tomato sauce and mashed potatoes.

A Luxurious Treat in Difficult Times

During these austere times, bread and butter sandwiches were a common staple for White House lunches. Yet, amidst the economic challenges, there was one particular sandwich that stood out as a luxurious treat for FDR: the classic grilled cheese. Simple, comforting, and easy to make, the grilled cheese sandwich became a favorite for the President.

The Appeal of Simple American Tastes

Despite his sophisticated upbringing, FDR’s preference for grilled cheese sandwiches highlighted his connection to the average American during a period when extravagance was frowned upon. This unpretentious choice reflected the era’s need for practicality and nutrition over culinary extravagance.

A Presidential Favorite

The grilled cheese sandwich, now a beloved American classic, holds a special place in history as the favorite sandwich of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This humble dish, enjoyed by many, symbolized a leader’s empathy and solidarity with his people during some of the toughest times in American history.


Next time you bite into a grilled cheese sandwich, remember that you’re enjoying a meal that once graced the plate of one of America’s greatest presidents. It’s a delicious reminder that sometimes, the simplest foods can have the most profound connections.

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