The favorite foods of historical figures - from world leaders, to great thinkers, to musicians, authors, and scientists - are a bit surprising. But their cravings are certainly humanizing. Abe Lincoln, for example, was a legendary president, but he also loved bacon. The favorite foods of presidents speak to their personalities and experiences, while other famous foodies seem to have enjoyed old classics and luxurious fare as well.
Some historical foods hardly seem edible, but you never know. Maybe some older fare is still delicious.
Mushroom ketchup, an oft-used colonial seasoning, was one of George Washington's favorite meal supplements. He began using the sauce during his military service; it was particularly popular among 18th-century troops and didn't include any tomatoes. Made of mushrooms, anchovies, and horseradish, Washington's preferred meal flavoring was sometimes called English catsup.
Age: Died at 67 (1732-1799)
Birthplace: Contiguous United States, United States of America, United States, with Territories, Westmoreland County, + more
Charles Darwin liked to taste test what he discovered. The scientific innovator made a practice of eating the exotic animals he encountered, and he even enjoyed the armadillo he was given aboard the HMS Beagle. According to Darwin, the armadillo tasted and looked "like duck," but he also enjoyed puma which may have been "the best meat [he] ever tasted."
Age: Died at 73 (1809-1882)
Birthplace: The Mount, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Helen Keller loved hot dogs so much her secretary, Polly Thompson, wouldn't keep them in the house. She didn't think her employer would eat anything else if given the option. After Thompson passed away, Keller enjoyed going to hot dog stands with her new assistant and nurse, Winifred Corbally.
Perhaps there was some connection to smell of the food; during childhood, Keller went to the circus with her teacher Anne Sullivan. One of the first things she recognized was the smell of "hot dogs broiling."
Age: Died at 88 (1880-1968)
Birthplace: Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States of America
Charlie Chaplin apparently had three favorite dishes - stewed tripe, lamb stew, and curry. He became accustomed to stewed foods in childhood. Chaplin's wife used to cook his favorites on Tuesdays. Chaplain's son, Michael, called the meals "things [Chaplain] must have had, or wished he'd had, as a kid in South London."
Age: Died at 88 (1889-1977)
Birthplace: Walworth, United Kingdom