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Charles B. Sears Law Library SUNY Buffalo Law School

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The Presidential Smorgasbord

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When you hit the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, naturally you tend to be thinking about the future (or more specifically, the next four years). But it’s also a time to think about cake. Election cake that is. Did you know that Election Cake is a thing?

Election Cake dates back to the pre-Revolution eighteenth century, and has been kind of a big deal in Connecticut. The New York Public Library found a recipe for Election Cake in its menu archives from 1907 (though the text claims that the recipe was actually already one hundred years old at the time of publication). From the recipe, it seems like Election Cake is a kind of yeasty fruitcake. There’s some historical debate as to exactly why someone would bake an election cake. Was it to celebrate a victory? Sustain the weary traveler? Or maybe to mark the act of voting? To echo the spririt of the day, the decision is yours.

Smith College has sliced out its own piece of the election culinary landscape with its Presidential Favorites Menu. From Obama’s chili (he gave the recipe out on Good Morning America in 2008) to FDR’s hot dogs (he served them to the King of England in 1939) to Bill Clinton’s cheeseburgers (who could forget SNL’s take on the Commander in Chief’s love of Mickey D’s? ), dining services at Smith College has it covered. Ronald Reagan’s favorite munchies (jelly beans) are also on hand for a snack.

Perhaps it’s time to institute a tradition of exercising your citizenly duty and then popping over to a diner to honor your favorite POTUS. I for one have a distinct appreciation of both George Washington and cherry pie.

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