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What the world's worst dictators liked to eat more than anything else

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A new book, part history and part cookbook, details the favourite dishes of some of the 20th century's most notorious autocrats.

Here's what we learned from Dictators' Dinners, by Victoria Clark and Melissa Scott.


Adolf Hitler

Despite being history's most well-known genocidal vegetarian, the Nazi leader's favourite dish was actually petits poussins à la Hambourg, or baby pigeons stuffed with tongue, liver and pistachio nuts.


Benito Mussolini

The fascist Il Duce disliked pasta and said mashed potato gave him headaches, but loved rough-chopped raw garlic with oil and lemon.


Joseph Stalin

The Soviet leader held six-hour banquets where copious amounts of semi-sweet Khvanchkara wine were consumed, leaving guests puking and incontinent. His favourite dish however was chicken with walnuts and spices.


Kim Jong-il

North Korea's late dear leader had extremely expensive tastes, importing Iranian caviar, Thai mangoes and Japanese rice cakes with mugwort. He also employed an army of women to ensure rice grains were the same size, and liked fish so raw it was still gasping and thrashing when he started eating.

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Muammar Gaddafi

Gaddafi liked Italian pastries and pasta, but reserved a special place in his heart for camel meat, couscous and prunes, a traditional Libyan dish.


Saddam Hussein

Iraq's dictator demanded only the best farm-fresh beef and lamb trimmed of fat, and only ate olives from the Golan Heights. He also had a weakness for Quality Street and Old Parr whisky.


Idi Amin

The Ugandan leader ate 40 oranges a day but while living in exile in Saudi Arabia dined on pizza and KFC. He also had a habit of serving bee larvae and fried grasshoppers at state banquets to annoy visiting dignitaries.


Hastings Banda

Malawi's long-time leader ate dried mopane worms (the caterpillar of the emperor moth) as a snack like crisps.

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Dictators' Dinners: A Bad Taste Guide to Entertaining Tyrants by Victoria Clark and Melissa Scott (Gilgamesh, £14.95)


Mopane worms picture via NH53. Other pictures via Getty


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