This might be one of the strangest (and grossest) US Presidential facts you've ever heard — at least I thought it was.
The story goes that while President Andrew Jackson held office, a dairy farmer from New York gifted him a 1,400-pound (635-kilogram) wheel of cheese. Not only did Jackson graciously accept the gift, but he allowed it to open-air age in the White House Entrance Hall for *two years*.
Then, in 1837, a going-away party was thrown to celebrate the conclusion of President Jackson's second term, and he decided the colossal wheel of cheese had to be a part of the festivities. Benjamin Perley Poore documented the cheesy free-for-all in his book Perley’s Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis. He wrote:
"For hours did a crowd of men, women and boys hack at the cheese, many taking large hunks of it away with them. When they commenced, the cheese weighed one thousand four hundred pounds, and only a small piece was saved for the President’s use. The air was redolent with cheese, the carpet was slippery with cheese, and nothing else was talked about at Washington that day."
It was left to Martin Van Buren, the president who succeeded Jackson, to eliminate the pungent, cheesy odor that lingered long afterward, which allegedly entailed taking the carpet out to air for "many days," getting rid of the curtains, and repainting the entire room.