Obama's Iftar dinner menu
August 10th, 2012
06:57 PM ET

Obama's Iftar dinner menu

Friday night President Obama will host his fourth annual Iftar dinner in the State Dining Room to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from sunup to sundown and often break their fast with a communal Iftar dinner in the evening.

The tradition of hosting an Iftar dinner at the White House began under President Clinton and has been continued by both President Bush and President Obama.

According to the White House, the invited guests for the evening “include elected officials, religious and grassroots leaders in the Muslim American community, and leaders of diverse faiths and members of the diplomatic corps.”

Here’s the menu for the Friday's dinner:

Kitchen Garden Chopped Summer Salad
Tarragon Dressing
Spiced Lavash

Thyme-roasted Natural Chicken
Sunchoke Puree
Farmstand Vegetable Ratatouille

Vanilla Peach Sesame Halvah Crunch
Green Apple Lime Granita


Topics: President Obama • Ramadan

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. jerry

    no fried chicken?

    August 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Everett Wallace

      No PORK you devil worshippers

      August 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
      • Nasiru Larry

        Everett beacuse you eat Pork doesn't make you a Saint. You are the Evil worshipper beacuse you eat all sort of meat including Snakes and Carcasses. You better go back to school and learn American Hiostory. We all have freedom to our Religions, ignoramos!

        August 13, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Cynthia L

      No Chic-fil-a? That's alright Jerry, you weren't invited anyway.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
      • Howard

        Most Americans and their families are getting by on hamburger helper ... Ramen noodles ... and other cheap meals ... while Obama continues to spend the tax payers money on luxury gourmet dinners, with the Islamic elite ... and, at the same time Americans are experiencing painful inflation at the grocery store and the gas pumps. Thanks to Obama, we didn't drill for oil, or build the pipeline, and corn for ethanol has increased in cost multiple times. But, it's o.k. if Americans are struggling, with a dismal future ... after all, Obama is a nice guy.

        August 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
      • Winston Smith

        really Howard? you're that ignorant that you can't see that this is a traditional dinner that goes back all the way to President Clinton? It's got nothing to do with Muslim Elites...it's a gathering that promotes solidarity, acceptance and respect for a culture's traditions...there was a Seder hosted as well during the end of the Passover...the President is simply keeping up with the tradition of honoring all cultures by celebrating their most cultural events on a grander stage...get over it!!!

        August 11, 2012 at 2:57 am |
      • Cynthia L

        @Howard Larry Moe CurlyJoe WELFARE QUEEN

        Just 'cause yer rubbing two fingers together, the orchestra can tell it ain't a real violin.

        August 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
      • Nam Marine

        Neither were you bimbo!

        August 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • hannah01

        Howard...Waah...waah...waah...
        For gods sake, these dinners are nothing new. Clinton and Bush were not criticized when they hosted the same dinner for Ramadan. Quit making a big deal out of it...

        August 12, 2012 at 6:16 am |
      • W.G.

        To Howard – No, that´s not true most Americans are doing O.K. . However a lot of Americans do need help
        because of republican policies from the "W"Bush era . A lot of Idiotic Americans ( the ones that make under
        a million a year and still vote republican) think that just because "W"Bush is gone all the mistakes he made
        and past bills he rang up went with him . Like the article said Mr. Clinton started this tradition and Mr. "W"
        BUsh kept it going . What the article doesn´t say is how "W" Bush on 9/11 flew the Bin Laden family out of
        N.Y. to help them avoid interogation because they were the Bush´s family friends . I´ll never question
        Mr. Obama´s loyalty to this country . He hunted down and killed Osama Bin Laden but I will question the
        patriotism ofv thev ruling echelon of the Republican Party .

        August 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • Howard

        YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY A BLIND, GULLIBLE, STOOGE, WHO TRUSTS THE LIES FROM OBAMA OVER THE SELF EVIDENT REALITY, WHICH IS ALL AROUND YOU. FOOLS LIKE YOU ARE THE REASON THIS CHARLATAN IS ABLE TO TURN AMERICA INTO A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. ALREADY OUR STANDARD OF LIVING HAS DIMINISHED ... WHILE YOU SUPPORT THE HYPOCRITE WHO IS MAKING IT EVEN WORSE, DAY BY DAY

        August 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • LISA.GOLD

        My Younger brother just asked me: is it true Obama did Cocaine n Weed? – Whats the answer?

        August 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
      • Charlotte

        Ha Ha @HOWARD is a bigoted, unintelligent, selfi-centered ignoramus. Who clearly thinks that hamburgers are the end-all and be-all of cuisine. If you, oh ignoramus, think that roasted chicken is "gourmet" then you really are a plebe. Note the veggies appear to have been home grown in the white house garden. So your amazingly transparent, muslim-phobic and pointless post is completely illegitimate, as are your opinions.

        August 13, 2012 at 8:23 am |
      • pico

        @Howard i really really feel sorry for you i swear to god i feel sorry for you

        August 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • Lisa Pfaff

        "Most Americans" would be eating far better than Hamburger Helper if they got off their butts and raised their own vegetables the way the Obamas do. Gourmet doesn't have to be expensive, just well-prepared. There's nothing on that menu you couldn't make with ingredients from your local grocery story or farm stand, except maybe the halvah, which is nothing but ground up sesame seeds.

        August 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Howard

      THE BIGGEST ITEM ON THE OBAMA MENU, BEING SERVED TO THE ISLAMIC WORLD, IS AMERICA !!!

      August 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
      • pico

        @Howard AGAIN i really really feel sorry for you i swear to god i feel sorry for you

        August 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
      • Howard

        We all know who got stuck with the check (again) ... the American tax payer !!!

        August 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  2. Everett Wallace

    ain't nothin holy about religion and I can not beleive there is no PORK on the menue at least bacon. DEVIL worshippers.

    August 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  3. Everett Wallace

    NO PORK devil worshippers

    August 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  4. Everett Wallace

    ramadam is a hoax

    August 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  5. Everett Wallace

    NOPE!

    August 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  6. Norma Vessels

    I don't understand some of the foods, but it sounds delicious!

    August 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Howard

      ROMNEY & RYAN = smart, successful, honest, competent VS. obama & biden = mudslinging, lying, incompetent failures.

      Save America ... Romney & Ryan in 2012 !!!

      August 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • S.positive

        So you really think RomneyRyan can win? Yeah right...

        August 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • Charlotte

        Idiocy confirmed.

        August 13, 2012 at 8:24 am |
      • BlkPwr817

        You fear me...

        August 13, 2012 at 11:48 am |
      • meecy

        I am voting for Obama

        August 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  7. NativeUSA

    That is the ONLY thing on his schedule for the ENTIRE day.............must be one hell of a dinner.

    August 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  8. marisombra

    whatever

    August 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  9. AnnoyedByPolitics

    This is considered news? you need to start digging to set the bar any lower.

    August 11, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Frank Marshall Davis

      If you expect news or in-depth reporting from CNN you'll be waiting a long time. They specialize in Obama fluff pieces.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:20 am |
  10. Winston Smith

    Whenever POTUS is in a "dinner" setting, we must always ponder which one of those pesky extremists is he taking out now...seems like every time he eats, one of them die...GO GO GO POTUS YOU'RE ON A ROLL!!!

    August 11, 2012 at 2:51 am |
  11. CJM2

    Hosting the enemy with taxpayer dollars while the public starves. This impotent fraud in the Oval Office has no shame for his excesses...he should be in prison.

    August 11, 2012 at 6:11 am |
  12. Megamimi

    Why is Ramadan being celebrated in the White House? If the man wishes to practice his religion, it should be in his private quarters, I think, unless it is a state occasion, and I do not believe that this is.

    August 11, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • annie andrews

      Did you not read the enntire article? Bush gave the same dinner !!!

      August 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Cynthia L

      It was started under Clinton CONTINUED UNDER BUSH.....your time to sqawk about it passed.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
      • Howard

        cynthia l. = CONSISTENTLY OBNOXIOIUS.

        August 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  13. JS

    Just another fluff story from CNN as exemplified by the fact that they needed to tell us that other presidents, including Bush, has a dinner for the same occasion.
    At this point I almost hope Obama does get reelected – given another 4 years of this will kill liberalism forever.

    August 11, 2012 at 7:25 am |
  14. MS

    @Megamimi, the "Ramadan dinner" is meant to show that the White House is inclusive and respects other religions, just as they have special Easter and Christmas celebrations

    August 11, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  15. Jay in NC

    I have read how much Obama charges for a plate, $35,000 to $45,000. How much do you think he will take home from this shindig?

    August 11, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  16. Howard

    FEEDING THE HAND THAT BITES YOU.

    August 11, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Cynthia L

      Pitbulls with LIPSTICK tend to do that. But, I don't think Palin was invited to attend – so, no worries.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
      • Howard

        cynthia l. is consistently OBNOXIOUS !!!

        August 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  17. NAM VET

    IN REGARDS TO THIS POST, WHO WOULD REALLY EAT THE CRAP AT THE GOING RATE FOR ANYTHING, IS FAR
    BEYOND MY PEASANT WALLET. THIS PEASANT POTUS CARES LESS, WE THE TAXPAYER WILL WIND UP PAYING THE TAB. HOW ABOUT HAVING LIMITS TO THIS DUFUS AS TO WHAT HE CAN SPEND FOR SUCH SCARF.

    August 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • annie andrews

      Bush did it too....

      August 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Cynthia L

      Remember this song??

      My BALONEY has a first name – It's O-S-C-A -R
      My BALONEY has a second name – It's M-A-Y-E-R.......

      I kid you not, Romney's pick for Vice Pres. ACTUALLY DROVE THE WEINERMOBILE!!! True story.

      August 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Frank Marshall Davis

        Are you trying to make some point here? The weinermoblie is in Wisconsin where Oscar Mayer is. It's certainly better than what Anthony Weiner did with his "mobile".

        August 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Cynthia L

      @Frankenstein Marshall
      Anthony Wiener ISN'T RUNNING FOR V.P.-BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!

      August 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • Frank Marshall Davis

        Curb the meth use, it's no good for you.

        August 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
      • Cynthia L

        What's yer poison – onions or relish? Beep-Beep!

        August 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
      • Howard

        CYNTHIA L. ... YOU ARE CONSISTENTLY OBNOXIOUS.

        August 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • Cynthia L

        @Howard Larry Moe CurlyJoe WELFARE QUEEN

        Was that a memo from Karl?? Or, did you have something to add that doesn't include telling people they are stooges that you so often do....Every other post,....which makes you a stooge three times over. What you have to say right now, hasn't anything to do with the truth or the fact, that you would like your country to succeed AND continue to be great. With or without you, it will find a way. If you died tomorrow, and faced your maker, what would you say was your contribution to man?

        August 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  18. NAM VET

    I HAVE ALWAYS WORKED HARD FOR A LIVING AND I AM PISSED THAT THIS IDIOT CAN SPEND MY HARD EARNED
    MONEY FOR THIS SORT OF WASTE OF MY DOLLARS. WE TUCK IT IN DURING HARD TIMES,WHEN THIS DUDE SPENDS
    LIKE THERE IS NO PAY BACK,JUST A FREE BEE-THAT BIT OF SPENDING HURTS US ALL. I THINK IT SHOULD COME
    OUT YOUR POCKET,NOT THE TAX PAYER. FACT IS YOU JUST DO NOT GIVE A RATS ASS FOR ANY AMERICAN.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  19. NAM VET

    I DO NOT CARE IF YOU WERE BORN IN THE USA OR WHERE EVER,NO WAY YOU COULD BE A TRUE AMERICAN.
    OH, BY THE WAY DID YOU READ THE BOOK CHAVEZ PASSED TO YOU AND ACCEPTED FOR ALL TO SEE. NO,
    YOU HAD YOUR OWN PLAY BOOK FOR THE DEMISE OF OUR COUNTRY. YOU SHOULD THINK OF HISTORY ABOUT
    THE MAN WHO DENOUNCED AMERICA AND WAS PUT ON A SHIP TO NEVER EVER AGAIN TO SEE AMERICAN SOIL.
    JUST SAYING,YOU MIGHT CONSIDER SUCH A FATE.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • annie andrews

      Was Bush put on same boat ? He did it too...

      August 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Cynthia L

      Whatever floats yer boat, DUDE. Just make sure the HOLES you forgot to patch, aren't sinkin' yer own boat.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  20. italmn

    People make me laugh, Critizing the menu. How immature. Have they not seen any of the menus of the past Presidents dinners ? Hysterical ! What idiots ! They must be from the southern states where ignorance runs at full force.

    August 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Frank Marshall Davis

      You just called an entire region of the country ignorant, do you really believe that? I guess intellectual giants such as yourself look down on everybody. Please impress us with more of your wisdom.

      August 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  21. Nam Marine

    What a good Muslim he is!

    August 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  22. Say it As You See It

    Excellent menu and Whitehouse has shown great taste. It is simple as the religion of Islam stands for. Well done. Obama.

    August 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  23. chechii

    That menu sounds delicious!
    Lets enjoy before Romney and Ryan take over and then it will be the end for us senior citizens.......what a nightmare!

    August 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Steveo

      Do you get all you info from ads or are you researching for yourself? Medicare/medicaid is NOT changing for ANYBODY celebrating 55 years in 2012! There will be a voucher OPTION for those who are younger!

      August 13, 2012 at 11:52 am |
      • Cynthia L

        You all lost the election. Please tell Fox and Friends they're wasting their time cheerleading for losers.

        August 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  24. jericho

    why do northern americans bash southern americans their hard workin when they have a job their patrotic fight for their country without saying i'm only fighting for the south so obama likes good food as long as he isn't paying he also likes vacations at places at 50,000 a week and he likes traveling in airforce 1 and he loves golf. Give him another 4 years so he can finish the job he started. ruining America. he's a joke and big time loser. Have you forgotten he was going to with hold ss checks and veteran checks unless he got his way.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  25. Shauque M.

    Poor Obama. He holds such parties in White House to get some good food for himself and his family. I would approve it. Prez, your guys keep asking for money on internet. I have decided to save my money and give you my vote. I hope it is ok with you.
    Cynthia L: You seems to be genius to me.

    August 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  26. Bunkie Moon

    Obama is the path to poverty . Romney is the path to prosperity .
    Funny that Obamaa skips the National Prayer Breakfast , yet has an Iftar dinner with members of the American M.uslim B.rotherhood in attendance . So Obama claims to be a Christian , and doesnt act like one , and claims not to be a Muslim , yet celebrates Islamic high holy holidays ... makes you think , doesnt it .

    August 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Cynthia L

      This is the first time in history that the Republican party is running a PROTESTANT for Pres. or V.P.. Interesting fact.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
      • Cynthia L

        CORRECTION – IS NOT RUNNING A PROTESTANT CANDIDATE. Wonder what John Hagee is doing in the closet praying.

        August 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  27. Daisycutter

    Why does Obama celebrate the Iftar if he is a christian ?

    August 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  28. AgrippaMT

    Having spent 25 years as an American diplomat in the Middle East, and having enjoyed many Iftar dinners with my Muslim friends in numerous countries, I am just a bit surprised by the menu. In most Islamic countries, the Iftar meal begins with a warm, rich soup usually called "chorba" or "shorba." It is served because after a long day of fasting, especially in hot weather, some dishes can make people ill. I am not sure what "Lavash" is, perhaps it's a soup? Salad as a starter is quite rare. Similarly, for dessert, the menu lists "Halvah" which is much more a jewish than Islamic dish. Does anyone else have any useful comments on the menu? In any case, we salute President Obama for continuing this wonderful tradition.

    August 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • AgrippaMT

      I did a bit of research. Turns out Lavash is an unleavened flatbread, probably of ancient Armenian origin. It's widely used across the northern tier of Middle Eastern states, Turkey, Iran, also Armenia. I do recall having it in Turkey many years ago, and it was quite good, albeit bland. Using some fresh goat cheese on it improves it greatly.

      August 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
      • Cynthia L

        I just bought a cookbook of Turkish recipes and I looked up Lavash and was disappointed not to find out what it was so, thank you. It would have been great to have had CNN explain what was listed on the menu. My cookbook does have Halva pastries. The Halva is inside a filo pastry. Halva being a sweetmeat made from crushed sesame seeds, or almonds combined with boiled sugar syrup. Made in block form and sold in slices, and is availbable from Middle Eastern and Turkish grocery stores. My oldest son has been to Turkey and loves the food so, I want to send him this cookbook which has wonderful pictures of the and interesting photos of different street scenes .

        August 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
      • Cynthia L

        I was wondering if you could explain the design painted on many of the plates in the cookbook?
        The design has a woman's head with a serpent's tail.

        August 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • TheLoneStar

      No doubt an Americanized version of the traditional meal.

      August 13, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • pico

      @AgrippaMT YOU ARE RIGHT
      here is the menu first it dates with milk as our Messenger then juice ,soup 'harira' , boiled eggs then you have messaman ‘great Moroccan crêpe’ and some Moroccan sweet desert
      in witch city you live i will invite you to my home for iftar with pleasure

      August 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  29. ms bee

    Muslim..he is Muslim right????

    August 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  30. Gme Robo

    Obama Lied that America is not a Christian Country. Whatever he declares as truth one day will be declared false the next.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  31. giolynn

    omg...it was chicken and vegetables with ice cream...all this over a meal with friends or potential friends...I wonder who Mittens will invite to the WH – all his bankers!

    August 13, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  32. FlexSF

    The only controversial things I see are the sunchoke puree, ratatouille, and sesame halvah crunch. The tarragon dressing might be potentially irritating to a Republican bigot. They can be found having a hate-meal at chick-fil-a.

    August 13, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Steveo

      "a hate meal from Chic-fil-a"? I see you're from SanFran, so never mind!

      August 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • Cynthia L

        This is the first time in history that the Republican party isn't running a Protestant as Pres. or V.P.

        August 13, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  33. NAM VET

    AFTER THE DINNER OB HAD 6 CHEESE BURGERS AND FRIES,DOUBLED SIZED WITH A 32 OZ. COKE,WITCH WAS IN THE PRIVACY OF THE OVAL OFFICE. THAT WOULD HAVE COST THE TAX PAYERS UNDER 100 BUCKS, THAT BEING SAID,ADD THE COST OF HIS PORTION ON THE MENU THE GRAND TOTAL ACTUALLY CAME TO –25 THOUSAND FOR
    MR PIGGY. IT IS MIND GOGLING TO SEE THE EXCESSES OUR GOV. SPENDS IN THE CURRENT DISTRESS THAT WE
    FACE.

    August 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  34. NAM VET

    I FORGOT TO ADD 1 MILLION DOLLARS THAT THE FREE LOADERS CONSUMMED.

    August 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Cynthia L

      So, should we also consider your Veterans Benefits as freeloading? Some people think they are and guess what – it's the Republicans.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  35. Les be faire

    Continuing the tradition passed on by W was the right thing to do. I am confident he will do this in his next term as POTUS.

    August 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  36. pico

    @AgrippaMT YOU ARE RIGHT

    here is the menu first it dates with milk as our Messenger then juice ,soup 'harira' , boiled eggs then you have messaman ‘great Moroccan crêpe’ and some Moroccan sweet desert
    in witch city you live i will invite you to my home for iftar with pleasure

    August 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  37. Gme

    I'm proud of Chic-fil-a. They have backbone for good to all. The wishbone always cracks alot first before it breaks to an eternal death from God. Forever is Everlasting.

    August 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  38. Howard

    HOPE AND CHANGE = Replacing Obama with Romney & Ryan ... followed by replacing the far left, biased, partisan main stream media with fair, balanced and objective journalists !!!

    August 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Cynthia L

      HOWARD IS ATTACKING A FUNDEMENTAL RIGHT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!! THE FREE PRESS
      Who's the commie, nazi stooge now?? You just blew your shorts off on that one after attacking people with those very words.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  39. Kerry Carr

    this is not important BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!

    August 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm |