Jul 19, 2009
Interesting Psak from Rav Elyashiv: Obama and French Fries
Rav Elyashiv was recently asked what the status of French Fries is regarding the issue of bishulei akum.
Rav Elyashiv's response was "Does Obama eat french fries?"
The issue being that food that does not get eaten in the respectable setting of being served on the plate of a king, does not have a problem of bishulei akum. Rav Elyashiv considers Obama to have enough of the status of royalty to at least be able to determine whether french fries have a problem of bishulei akum. (source: Kikar Shabbos)
So, does Obama eat french fries?
We know Obama has gone out on burger runs a number of times, even leaving the White House to go get a burger.
In May he went to a burger joint called Ray's Hell Burger. When he asked for fries, he was told this burger joint does not serve fries (a burger joint with no fries? strange). So, Obama at least asked for fries. If you say that is not enough, he has to have actually eaten them, then we have another burger run.
At the end of May, Obama went out for another burger run, this time to Five Guys. According to this article, he ordered fries as part of his order.
So, it looks like french fries are eaten by royalty, thus rendering bishulei akum to be an issue with french fries.