The Bizarre and Surprising Favorite Foods of Historical Figures

From composers to writers to kings, some of their favorite foods are pretty unusual today!

What people were eating hundreds of years might seem strange to us these days, but some of history’s most notable figures ate what seemed normal to them. And, as some of the most distinguished people of their time, they had access to some of the more luxurious foods. Read on to find out what bizarre foods famous historical figures were into!

George Washington

The first president of the United States loved mushroom ketchup, which is more like a Worcestershire sauce with mushrooms as the base of the sauce. This condiment was very well-known to 18th century soldiers, which explains why Washington was so fond of it.

Via/ Wiki Commons

Benito Mussolini

The dictator loved raw garlic, favoring it in a salad with olive oil. Mussolini was reported to have despised French cuisine with a passion.

Via/ Wiki Library of Congress

Charles Darwin

The founder of evolution had a very specific taste for exotic meats, including armadillo, which he proclaimed to be one of the best dishes he’d ever had. Darwin sampled meat from the specimens he wrote about around the world. His obsession for unusual game was apparent even while he was in school, as he was a member of the Glutton Club, a group which met specifically to ingest exotic animals.

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Gloria Swanson

The actress regularly consumed a macrobiotic broth made from vegetables and no salt. Swanson was an early health proponent and rarely allowed sugar, meat, or junk food into her diet.

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Frederick II of Prussia

The Prussian ruler reportedly loved candied violets and ate them as often as possible, though there is some evidence that in this case they may have been viewed as medicinal. While not a common ingredient today, once upon a time violets were also made into jelly.

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Mark Twain

The renowned author loved oysters prepared in a variety of ways and considered them a great American food. His writingsabout his time in San Fransisco describe multiple meals per day comprised of oysters!

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Harry Houdini

Houdini was known for his incredible stunts, but also for his appetite. Among many other “favorite” foods the Hungarian-American loved spƤtzle, a small dumpling or noodle common across Germany and Hungary.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

His symphonies changed the world, but he was a simple man in some ways, favoring the traditional Austrian meal of liver dumplings served with sauerkraut.

Via/ Wiki Commons