Foods started by Thomas Jefferson

Many popular food dishes loved by Americans and your ancestors had their beginning with a former US Presdient.

US Presdient Thomas Jefferson was one of the most influential figures in our presidential history. But strides toward social and political freedom were not the only things he made relevant during his two terms. We have Jefferson’s unique taste to thank for popularizing some of the most beloved foods in American culture.

Thomas Jefferson both cultivated and ate tomatoes from 1809 until 1824 and quite possibly grew them as early as 1781. Tomatoes were not as popular in Jefferson’s time and were often believed to be poisonous because of their membership in the Nightshade plant family. According to one published report, Jefferson created quite a bit of consternation when he publicly ate a tomato in front of the present Miller-Claytor house in Lynchburg.

One of the few surviving recipes in Jefferson’s hand is nouilly á maccaroni. Although the recipe is simply for noodles, a couple of Jefferson’s relatives wrote down recipes for baked macaroni with the now-familiar milk, butter and cheese. Federalist senator Manasseh Cutler described eating “a pie called macaroni” at the President’s House in 1802, and the population hasn’t stopped loving Mac n’ Cheese.

While it’s untrue that Jefferson invented ice cream, his obsession with serving the frozen treat at dinner parties greatly popularized it in America. There are multiple references of ice cream popping up in White House history between 1801 and 1809, and several notes of guests describing its presentation “inside of a crust or pastry” (pie à la mode, anyone?). Jefferson’s own ice cream recipe was inspired from his time in France and is one of the ten recipes in his handwriting that still exist today.

Now you see where the love of Tomatoes, Mac n’ Cheese and Ince cream cme from.

Photo: Fresh Tomatoes

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Foods Still Loved Today

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Bottled and Canned Foods

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