10 Foods Our Founding Fathers Ate (Slideshow)

Everyone knows the myth about George Washington and the cherry tree, but did you know that he actually had a cherry orchard on his property? Both he and Thomas Jefferson cultivated cherry trees on their land.


Green Beans

Almost all of our founding fathers lived on large farms. Thomas Jefferson, in particular, had a deep love for farming and he published many books about it. In his Garden Book, he mentioned planting green beans often.


We all associate turkey as a classic American food. After all, what's Thanksgiving without a big, juicy turkey on the table? And it seems that the founding fathers agreed with us. Benjamin Franklin loved turkey so much that he suggested it should be our national symbol. The bald eagle won that fight, but turkey is still popular today.


Seafood in general was popular amongst the founding fathers. Most of them spent a lot of their working lives near large bodies of water. Even though they enjoyed all seafood, oysters were by far their favorites. Martha Washington, our first First Lady, included many recipes for oysters in her cookbook. 


Cornmeal Cakes

It's common knowledge that George Washington had dental issues. For most of his life he wore dentures, so he often couldn't chew foods properly. Because of this, he preferred soft, easy-to-eat foods. Cornmeal cake was one of his favorites.

Apple Pandowdy

John Adams, our second president, had a relatively simple palate. He preferred boiled meals with nothing too elaborate added. His wife, however, liked to cook more exciting fare. Each year, Abigail Adams would make apple pandowdy, which is very similar to apple pie, from the harvest from their orchard.

Ice Cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? It's one of the most perfect comfort foods. Dolley Madison, our fourth president's wife, thought so too. She introduced it to the United States in 1812 when she served it at her husband's inaugural ball. James Madison was one lucky guy to have a wife with such good taste.


Craft beer is pretty popular now, but it was our founding fathers who really knew how to drink. In fact, George Washington brewed his own beer. He included molasses in his recipe. It sounds pretty rich, but we're still curious to try his brew.

Boiled Vegetables

The colonists were not fond of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, it was considered unappetizing to do so. Our founding fathers were no different. John Adams preferred to have his meals boiled. Most of the time, a lot of sugar was added to the water to make the vegetables more palatable. 

Hard Cider

This was John Adams' drink of choice. It was made from the apples that grew on his orchard, and we imagine that it was pretty strong. Apparently, he drank at least one pint of cider before nine in the morning. Clearly he was a big fan of day drinking.