As the presidential campaigns heat up this summer, we thought it would be fun here at From the Hearth and Home of Mrs. Newark Jackson to explore some connections between presidents and chocolate. This first post in the series will focus on our current president, Barack Obama.
While on the campaign trail in 2008, Senator Obama discovered Fran’s Smoked Salt Caramels, which had been brought to an event by Democratic fund-raiser Cynthia Stroum. Stroum later told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the candidate had found the caramels “phenomenal.” The caramels are made by a Seattle-based chocolate shop operated by Fran Bigelow, and, as a result of this press coverage, Bigelow quickly saw an uptick in orders for her Smoked Salt Caramels. In fact, the production of them increased by 50%, which meant than Fran’s Chocolates were making over 18,000 of these caramels per day, superceding chocolate production for Valentine’s Day! Bigelow also confirmed that batches of the caramels had been sent to D.C. for inauguration parties.
Clearly, presidential preferences in food can have a significant wider influence, and the Obamas are certainly conscious of that influence. In the spring of 2009, Michelle Obama broke ground for the White House Kitchen Garden which provides fresh vegetables, herbs, and berries for the White House kitchen, and it features in the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. While reflecting on this project in April of this year, Michelle remarked that the garden has “begun a conversation around the country about community gardens” which will “hopefully create healthier food and healthier lives for these kids.” While President Obama may have a bit of a sweet tooth, an effort has been made to have the White House set an example of making healthy food choices.
However, if you’re like the POTUS and crave the occasional chocolate and caramel indulgence, we definitely suggest stopping by Captain Jackson’s and trying our American Heritage Salted Caramels. Our take on chocolate salted caramels combines the creamy, buttery caramel and hint of saltiness with the unique blend of spices found in the American Heritage Historic Chocolate!