FOOD AND DRINK
As his pudgy appearance attested, Kim was a legendary gourmand. As always, it's hard to separate fact from fiction in Pyongyang, but the leader reportedly liked to have his sashimi carved from live fish and preferred having his rice cooked "over wood that has been cut down from Mount Paektu, Korea's sacred mountain," according to the Telegraph. He sent couriers around the world to fetch him Danish bacon, Iranian caviar, and Thai mangos.
Kim had an odd affection for Austrian cuisine and once sent a delegation of his chefs to train and collect recipes in the land of Linzer torte. In the 1990s, he hired Italian pizza chefs to teach his cooks the proper art of olive placement. On a trip to China in this year, Kim reportedly walked out of the guesthouse at which he was staying and visited a local supermarket, where he asked the clerks for olive oil to make salad dressing.
Kim's culinary excesses were particularly noteworthy given that his country was in a state of widespread famine through most of his rule. Not that Kim didn't pay any attention to this problem -- he once boasted of creating a new type of noodle packed with more protein to alleviate famine.
In a rare public-diplomacy effort, the North Korean government has started its own international restaurant chain in recent years, serving up kimchi and juche ideology to patrons throughout Asia.