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Trump's Odd Diet Likely Complicates Overseas Trip

Newsweek logo Newsweek 5/18/2017 Tim Marcin

Then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump eats a pork chop at the Iowa State Fair during a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, August 15, 2015. © Jim Young/Reuters pork chop
President Donald Trump eats like a 6-foot-plus, 240-pound petulant child—if that irritable youngster had the ability to push a button and make a lackey fetch a Coke.

He's set to embark on his first official trip overseas Friday with pit stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, Italy and the Vatican—something he's reportedly pouting about, huffing and puffing that the nine-day excursion is far too long. Worse yet: none of the places he's visiting have a Trump-branded hotel with workers that are duty-bound and practiced at serving him his favorite meals.

A quick rundown of a few things we know about Trump's dietary habits:

-He likes his $54 dry-aged steak charred into beef bricks so well-done they clank and rattle the plate. A healthy slather of ketchup serves as the finishing touch.

-Trump is a notorious germophobe—he admitted as much in an effort to shut down rumors of a video that reputedly showed that he paid Russian prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed in 2013. "I'm also very much of a germophobe, by the way," he said to reporters, apparently insinuating the urination would have grossed him out. "Believe me."

That germophobia informs his diet. Trump is a noted lover of fast food: McDonald's burgers and Kentucky fried chicken are staples. "A 'fish delight,' sometimes, right?" Trump said in a town hall event about his orders from McDonald's. "The Big Macs are great. The Quarter Pounder. It's great stuff."

Trump appreciates the salty, fatty, uncomplicated food for taste but perhaps even more for its uniformity in preparation and cleanliness standards. "One bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald's. One bad hamburger and you take Wendy's and all these other places and they're out of business," he said at the town hall. "I like cleanliness, and I think you're better off going there than maybe some place that you have no idea where the food is coming from." 

-He's reportedly added mixes in fish and shrimp to take a break from his typical order of burnt steak.

-He once ate a pork chop on a stick at the 2015 Iowa State Fair, and while it's not fair to call the delicacy a staple in Trump's diet, he seemed to really enjoy it. 

That in mind, this trip is going to be a nightmare for Trump's stomach. While some might consider trying other cultures' foods a valuable and exciting experience, the president is a man of routine who is about to lose control over his meal plan. He's scheduled to attend a banquet dinner in Saudi Arabia, a private dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have a working lunch with France's new President Emmanuel Macron, have dinner with NATO leaders and finally dine with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

It's unlikely McDonald's hamburgers are on the menu (although Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium and Italy do all feature locations of the ubiquitous burger joint). Netanyahu is a noted regular at a falafel joint, for instance, ordering his sandwich with a healthy dollop of hummus and "strongly spicy" hot sauce. Of the top 5 authentic Israeli dishes listed off by the Jerusalem Post, only the kebab—a meat patty and Middle Eastern burger of sorts—looks anything like what Trump eats on a regular basis. 

Saudi Arabia could be even more troubling for the former reality star. The UK's Prince Charles was once served a whole, skinned and roasted camel—a delicacy—by Saudi royalty at a banquet in a show of appreciation. Not exactly meatloaf (another Trump favorite). 

Obama once had a working lunch with French president François Hollande—as Trump is planning with Macron—at a renowned restaurant known for its lobster fricassee and ravioli with white Alba truffles. There likely wasn't a kid's menu with chicken fingers.

Trump's best shot at a meal he can actually ingest with a modicum of enjoyment—or a lack of fear—might be in Italy. In the past he has praised First Lady Melania Trump for a wildly creative Italian-inspired dish she makes.

"She has a lot of imagination," Trump said. "She makes spaghetti and meat sauce."

Maybe she can pass the recipe along to the chefs in Sicily before the president arrives.

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