Ivanka Trump recently took to Instagram to share moments from her daughter Arabella's sixth birthday party. Along with photos of brightly wrapped gifts and her smiling kids appeared something much less common to see at an American birthday party: a photo of grilled hot dogs skewered with marshmallows captioned “keeping it healthy” along with a winking face emoji. Hm.
Sure, marshmallows and hot dogs do go hand-in-hand when it comes to summer eating—so much so that most cookout skewers are often sold as combination marshmallow and hot dog sets. But those sets aren’t necessarily suggesting that you should put the two foods together on one stick. While a large number of commenters were confused by Trump’s food pairing, a number of others recognized the hot dog-marshmallow dish as a treat served at Filipino birthday parties.
Typically made with pastel-colored marshmallows skewered with smaller pieces of cooked bright red hot dogs like a kebab, or with marshmallows on both ends of a long skewered hot dog, the Filipino dish is sometimes served stuck vertically into a halved cabbage or peeled pineapple base to make a vibrant centerpiece. Natalia Roxas, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen, told Delish that the dish was developed in the Philippines during the American occupation of the country, when soldiers sold their rations to the public. As Roxas noted, the ingredients are inexpensive, making the dish "accessible to any socioeconomic class."
Strangely enough, Trump also posted another photo from the party featuring a plate of spaghetti—another Filipino birthday tradition. Considering that no one in Trump’s family is Filipino, nor did she call out the origin of these birthday food traditions, I’m confused to say the least.
Party foods aside, there are a lot more important reasons to question Ivanka Trump’s judgement. As long as she’s not claiming she invented the snack, maybe we should just let Trump feed her kids whatever she wants to, and instead keep questioning her political alignments.