I generally subscribe to the philosophy that you should live every day like it's your last, which is why I detest spending entire afternoons resolving byzantine licensing issues at the DMV and why I harbor no guilt about eating dessert every single night.
If you have ever pondered your own mortality, you have probably fantasized about all the things you would say, see, and eat just before shuffling off that mortal coil. Fate doesn't give most of us the chance to execute these designs, but that shouldn't stop us from imagining the perfect final repast. To inspire your morbid culinary musings, here are my Top Five Greatest Last Meals consumed by some of our dearly (and not-so-dearly) departed.
5. Lobster Tail, Butterfly Shrimp, Baked Potato, and Strawberry Cheesecake
Apparently convicted murderers can be foodies too. Eschewing other more plebian (and otherwise popular) final food requests like hamburgers, fried chicken, and ice cream, Ronnie Lee Gardner dined on surf 'n' turf plus some all-American dessert just before his execution. I am guessing death by firing squad didn't aid in his digestion.
4. French Onion Soup
The American queen of French cookery, Julia Child said her final "bon appétit" over a bowl of soupe à l'oignon gratinée at the very ripe old age of 91. The spry and ever fastidious Child probably grated the swiss and parmesan cheese by hand for this savory soup, and, I hope, snuck herself a few final nips of cognac.
3. New York Strip Steak, Baked Potato, Caesar Salad and Bordeaux Wine
He wrote well. He ate well. A few hours before committing suicide, Ernest Hemingway had his final meal of meat and potatoes while dining with friends at the Christiania restaurant in Ketchum, Idaho. Here's also to menu substitutions: The famed novelist supposedly requested a Caesar salad instead of boring mixed greens.
2. Bread and Wine
The original Last Supper, hosted by Chef J.C., otherwise known as the Son of God. Simple, satisfying, and, dare I say, divine? (Oh, come on. You knew that was coming.)
1. Consommé Olga, Poached Salmon with Mousseline sauce, Lamb with Mint Sauce, Roast Duck with Apple Sauce, Sirloin of Beef with Chateau Potatoes, Stuffed Summer Squash, Creamed Carrots, Green Peas, Foie Gras, Waldorf Pudding, Chocolate and Vanilla Éclairs, Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly, and Ice Cream
So read the dinner menu for the first-class passengers of the R.M.S. Titantic the night it struck an iceberg. Unlike the poor fools in steerage who probably choked down stale biscuits just before putting on their life jackets, these lucky bastards plunged into the icy depths stuffed with haute cuisine. At least rich and poor alike were able to wait the requisite hour-after-eating to swim, as the ship didn't sink until around 2 a.m. the next morning.
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