Sarah Boesveld of the Globe and Mail writes about the fascination with President Obama’s food choices and quotes a few food experts …

But Mr. Obama – however svelte – has a way of making food about community and connection, foodie watchers say.

“One thing everyone cares about is: ‘What does the president eat?’ ” says Ruth Reichl, editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine.

“Food has always been part of politics – eating hot dogs in one place and tacos in another. Food is a very emotional and approachable topic.”

Mr. Obama appears to connect with the masses by sharing his gastronomic tendencies, says Betty Fussell, a New York-based food historian. He has meetings while dining, and the world has seen a few televised breakfast campaign stops during which he revealed his affection for waffles.

“A lot of our personal identity is wrapped up in food, and everybody knows that instinctively,” she says. “[Mr. Obama] seems to be endorsing real food. We won’t see him plowing into a dozen doughnuts,” she says, or, God forbid, wolfing down McDonald’s fare à la Bill Clinton.

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Posted on Jan 21, 2009