Friday, 17 April 2015

Food Of The Gods

With elections in the air, and the UK about to vote for its own Benevolent (Elected) Dictator, the question that popped into my mind was what do dictators like to eat? Well normally who cares, but as we have dealt with their pets it seems a suitable to finish off on their eating habits .... a recent book 'Dictators' Dinners: A Bad Taste Guide to Entertaining Tyrants' has divulged the tyrants choice of meals.

Interestingly, as most modern dictators (of the peoples revolutionary kind), were of peasant stock, their food choices often reflected this (a bit like me with my love of Beans on Toast!).

  • Antonio Salazar of Portugal, loved sardines (that dish reminded him of his impoverished childhood, when he had even had to share one between him and a sibling).
  • North Korea's Kim Il-sung had all his rice grains individually selected .... while Kim Jong-Il's favourites included shark fin soup, and oshintang (dog-meat soup). He also sent planes to pick up Iranian caviar, Danish pork, Thai mangoes and Japanese rice cakes, flavoured with mugwort, at $120 a cake. He also kept a cellar of 10,000 bottles of fine wine and had around £500,000 worth of finest cognac imported for his personal use each year. Hennessy’s biggest customer was reportedly Kim Jong-Il.  
  • Romanian Communist party boss Nicolae Ceausescu, insisted when abroad, on drinking raw vegetable juice through a straw, avoiding all solids .... and he brought the vegetables with him. However while at home he had a weakness for a stew made with a whole chicken… feet, beak and all.
  • Tito of Yugoslavia loved nothing so much as a slice of warm pig fat.
  • Adolf Hitler was famously a 'vegetarian' (brought on its alleged, by his chronic flatulence), and would engage his eating table companions in chit-chat about goings-on in a Ukrainian abattoir, to put them off meat, but prior to 1937 he was known to eat caviar, Bavarian sausages, and squab. Even after that year, he ate eggs, the occasional slice of ham, and still loved 'Leberknodl' aka 'Leberkloesse' (liver dumplings). He once reportedly remarked that there was ‘nothing better than a liver dumpling’.
  • Comrade Stalin famously served a table groaning with delicious Georgian specialities such as Satsivi (a form of chicken and walnut stew), and copious amounts of vodka .... he once turned Nikita Khrushchev into a staggering incontinent wreck, and Tito could only keep up with the toasting, by vomiting into his jacket sleeve. NB: one Stalin’s chefs was Spiridon Putin, Vladimir’s grandfather!
  • Jean Bedel Bokassa of the Central African Republic, was alleged to indulge in cannibalism. Bokassa's former cook, claimed to have been ordered to prepare a human corpse stuffed with rice and flambéed in gins for his master (and presumably unsuspecting guests).
  • Idi Amin of Uganda, was also alleged to indulge in cannibalism, including keeping body parts of enemies in the fridge for those midnight feasts. He also devoured up to forty oranges a day to keep up his virility. More conventionally he also ate roast goat, cassava and millet bread.
  • Francisco Nguema of Equatorial Guinea was also alleged to indulge in cannibalism.
  • Mussolini was an aficionado of raw garlic, to such an extent, that he had salads of roughly chopped raw garlic, dressed with oil and lemon ... his wife reused to share his bed after some of his splurges. He also enjoyed a good ciambellone for pudding.

Now That's A Chicken Fit For Any Dictators Table

  • Niyazov of Turkmenistan's favourite food was a freshly baked loaf made by his mother ... ahh. 
  • Muammar Gaddafi of Libya liked to eat couscous with camel meat, alongside Italian food, including pastries and pasta dishes, in particular macaroni. He was also another famous farter.
  • Chairman Mao Zedong of China, had his favourite fish transported 600 miles from the Southern coast of China alive in plastic bags to his kitchens. 
  • Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben-Ali used to have his favourite brand of French ice cream flown in from Saint-Tropez in France daily.
  • Saddam Hussein of Iraq, loved British sweets .... Quality Street, Bounties and Mars Bars being particular favourites.
  • Malawi’s austere Hastings Banda, kept crispy fried mopane worms in his trouser pockets (don't we all?) ... apparently they are simply dried and then eaten as a snack like crisps.
  • Fidel Castro of Cuba (who wasn't from peasant stock), ate grilled lobster and would lecture people on how to grill it. However his favourite was said to be 'turtle soup'.
  • Pol Pot of Khymer Rouge infamy was said to like nothing more than to dine on cobra stew but also venison, and wild boar.

So there you are .... the food fads of those who were treated as gods (if you wanted to stay healthy).


  1. Love the pictures on this site. I guess I shouldn't ask where they come from LOL.

    1. Well, as I believe you are hinting at, they come from the web, where most of them were scanned for other websites and blogs. Many I create myself with photo-shop type software, and on most of the others I repair, and clean them up considerably before they are posted.

      I like to think of it as image recycling. A process in which I use pictures, but also one in which I then return the images in a much better state, for others to freely use.

  2. The favourite dish of the emperor Vitellius was supposed to be the "Shield of Minerva", composed of pike liver, brains of pheasant and peacock, flamingo tongue, and lamprey milt.

    1. Thanks. I'll bet that there are others out there, especially from China and India.

  3. Emperor Qian-Long's (1711 to 1799) pre-breakfast snack, eaten before his first audience, was a bowl of crystallized sugar prepared with bird's nests.

    1. Good Comment .... keep em coming.

    2. Isn't that an early version of shredded wheat?

    3. Now you come to mention it .... yes, it does look exactly like that. I wonder if there is any connection in the conception of shredded wheat? Good spot, and interesting question.


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