With a look at the kinds of salmon served on White House menus…

Salmon has been featured on the menus for many high-profile White House events hosted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and Tuesday night, during his State of the Union Address, “Winning The Future,” the President gave the popular finned food an interesting shout out.

Close to the end of his hour-long speech, President Obama discussed the need to slash spending and reduce bureaucratic duplication to make government “more competent and efficient.”

“We live and do business in the Information Age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black-and-white TV,” President Obama said.

He added that 12 different agencies deal with exports, while at least five deal with housing, but the bizarre federal regulation of salmon takes the cake.

“Then there’s my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in salt water,” President Obama said.

“And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked,” President Obama added, to big laughter from his audience in the House chamber.

Yes, the FDA is involved once salmon gets to the smoking stage, and becomes a processed food. And the Commerce part of the regulation includes NOAA: That agency is involved in testing if the salmon swims anywhere near, say, an exploded drilling rig that has leaked, say, millions of barrels of oil into surrounding waters. The President also pointed to duplication in other federal agencies to make his point.

Salmon at the White House…

Dill and Vodka Scottish Smoked Salmon were served at the White House when the President and Mrs. Obama hosted a Hanukkah Reception on December 3, 2010. In keeping with strict religious requirements, the salmon–and the White House kitchen–were certified kosher for the holiday event, and prepared under the strict rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Lubavitch Center of Washington.

During last summer’s second annual Congressional Picnic, Taste of The States, held on June 09, 2010, President and Mrs. Obama welcomed hundreds of lawmakers and their families to the White House. The showstopping dish was wild Alaskan Salmon fished from the Copper River. Guest chef Jason Stoller Smith of Oregon cooked the salmon over a 45-foot-long fire pit dug into the South Lawn, right outside the Oval Office (above: Stoller Smith in action with the fire pit).

Salmon was also featured on the menu at Mrs. Obama’s special Mother’s Day Tea held on May 7, 2010, in the State Dining Room. Smoked Salmon on Blinis served with Chevre Creme Fraiche were featured among the dainty tea sandwiches and scones that were offered to guests, who included former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; Patricia Nixon Cox, daughter of President Richard M. Nixon; and Susan and Anne Eisenhower, granddaughters of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Honey from the White House Bee Hive was available in special pots on each table, too.

Salmon regulations may be mighty confusing, but the fish is still something of a White House staple…


Reprinted with permission from Obamafoodorama.