August 14 – Death by Chocolate

Culinary Scene Investigation

I think most people out there are lovers of food and a lot of pleasure can be gained through culinary delights. That said, that which sustains us can also kill (and I’m not even talking about the world of foodborne illness outbreaks, such as E. coli, salmonella or food poisoning). Here are some of the more interesting deaths by eats:

Chocolate Chaos

This has has to be one of the better ways to go, but it’s tragic nonetheless. Vincent Smith, Jr., an employee at the Lyons and Sons Chocolate Factory in Pennsylvania fell into a vat of boiling chocolate and then met his end courtesy of one of the mixing propellers. Augustus Gloop would be so proud! Perhaps most ironic is that this incident led to the discovery that the chocolate company did not have proper licensing in place and was distributing its products illegally.

death-by-chocolate

Fugu Follies

I like to consider myself immune to poison (don’t we all), but this guy took it a little too far, challenging the limitations of the human body. Acclaimed Kabuki (that’s Kabuki, not bukkake) actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII perished in 1975 after demanding four fugu liver orders. He insisted that he was impervious to the pufferfish’s poison, but turns out, not so much. He died after seven hours of paralysis and convulsions. Fugu was featured in The Simpsons episode One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish.

Molasses Mania

The saying “slow as molasses” took a different turn during Boston’s 1919 Molasses Disaster (I’m surprised it hasn’t been made into a summer blockbuster movie yet). The usually slow-moving syrup killed 21 and injured 150 when a tank holding 2 million gallons of the substance exploded. The great ball of molasses death was estimated to have been travelling upwards of 35 miles per hour.

Hot Dogs for Haiti

Poor Noah Akers… the 12-year-old died after choking on a wiener during a hot dog eating competition that was supposed to benefit victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. This is precisely why I advise people not to do any charitable work. What’s even more bizarre is that the organizers, The Boys and Girls Club, chose to hold an eating competition to raise money for people that desperately needed food supplies.

hot dogs

Banquet Blunder

King Adolf Frederick of Sweden ate himself to death, following a feast that included caviar, smoked herring, lobster, kippers, sauerkraut, champagne, and 14 servings of dessert (and here I feel like a glutton after two small cookies!). I guess if you’re going to leave this world, you might as well have one hell of a last meal. His has a lasting legacy, which can’t be said for other monarchs.

Carrot Juice Conundrum

Basil Brown, one of those crazy health nuts, died in 1974, at the age of 48, after ingesting 10 gallons of carrot juice over a 10-day span. That doesn’t sound too bad (actually it sounds horrible) until you realize that’s 10,000 times the recommended daily dose of vitamin A. I’m not sure what point ol’ Basil was trying to make by downing so much carrot juice. Perhaps he was trying to find a decent carrot juice cocktail, with no luck.

Cola Killer

Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old mother of eight died of a heart attack in New Zealand in 2010. After dying at such a young age, an inquiry took place and it was discovered that Harris drank upwards of two gallons of soda each day (hopefully some was used for rum and cokes!), ingesting two pounds of sugar and 970 milligrams of caffeine. Without pop, Harris suffered withdrawal-like symptoms. She also ate poorly and smoked heavily, all of which contributed to her early demise.

coca-cola

Buggy Blues

Edward Archbold entered a bug eating contest in West Palm Beach, Florida, hoping to win the free python grand prize. Archbold won the competition after consuming a quantity of meal worms, horn worms, and roaches, before he began vomiting and collapsed. The 32-year-old died of “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents”. All the man wanted was a python… wait, why would anyone want a python!?

Water Boarding

In yet another contest gone wrong, Jennifer Strange died of water intoxication after drinking a hefty amount of the liquid, trying to win a Nintendo Wii video game console. The competition, held by a Sacramento, California radio station had volunteers drink the H20 and then try to not pee (Hold Your Wee for a Wii) for the longest amount of time. Strange’s family sued for wrongful death and were rewarded over $16 million in damages. Oddly, Strange was found to have not contributed to her own death, but then who drank all that water trying to win a Wii?

Drink #226: Death by Chocolate

Death by Chocolate

  • 1 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 0.5 oz Vodka (I used Absolut Raspberri)
  • 1 Scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream (I used Wunderbar)
  • Blend with Ice
  • Garnish with Chocolate Syrup, Peanut Butter Cup Chunks, and Graham Cracker Crumbs

I personally would prefer to die in a potato chip-related asphyxiation incident. At least that way, I’d be going out with some style and while enjoying one of my favourite treats. How would you preferably spend your end of days?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I took the Death by Chocolate recipe and adapted it to suit the ingredients I had and wanted to use. I wanted to call it orgasm by chocolate, an homage to chocolate-obsessed women everywhere, but we went with this moniker instead.

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