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Your last meal

I've always been fascinated by the website deathmaneating.com, and lately, I've been thinking a lot about good foods and, particularly, last meals.

With that, I want to get your last meal requests, and what you'd love to eat most, if you were to be sent to the death chair in the next few hours.

In the past, I've seen a lot of people be unrealistic about these answers, having meals that cost hundreds of dollars, or too much for one sitting. So, just one simple rule: $40 or under.

For me, it would be a combination of my own cooking skills, and a staple I was fed growing up, along with other cultural foods I've picked up in the Army.

So, last meal would be a medium-rare London Broil, done with a George Foreman grill, over a bed of steamed rice and lots of spinach, drizzled with olive oil and lime juice.

I'd also have a large, iced cold fountain of sweet tea, to wash down the food, and for desert, I'd probably want a root beer float, but rather than using vanilla ice cream, I'd want cookies and cream ice cream instead.

I'd ask for a ciggarette, too, but then again, prisons don't allow smoking.

If all else fails, I might just ask for an MRE.



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  1. A Chicago-style italian beef sandwich dripping with juice and a chocolate milkshake.

    1. Either a bowl of kimchi and rice, or a plate of really good spaghetti carbonara.

      1. Food devoid of context is tasteless. I can't think of anything I would want to eat, absent family and friends, knowing I was going to die soon. This is not a chowish moment.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca

          Ahhh, make love to your food, huh? I am almost the same way, but I can also eat just to enjoy the food, alone.

          But at moments like those, I could imagine it would be very, very hard to focus on the meal in itself.

          I bet it would be the most emotionally-filled meal I've had, though!

          1. re: FanOfJoeBiden

            I would love to have a nice juicy medium rare rib eye steak grilled over a wood fire with the fat nice & crispy. I would also like sauteed mushrooms for the steak, crusty bread and as the veggie...hmmm...baked potato with loads of sour cream. For dessert, 1 small scoop of Edy's double vanilla ice cream.

          2. re: pikawicca

            That's my answer, too. I'm pretty sure I would have no appetite so no matter what the food, it would taste like cardboard.

            However, if I were scheduled for jaw surgery or something and knew I wouldn't be able to eat anything solid for six months, it would probably be a Reuben with a boatload of fresh-made fries. For dessert a chocolate Coke float. Lowbrow, I know, but that's probably what it would be.

            Although I would really be tempted to go for Mexican/Tex-Mex. A bowl of my own chili with cornbread sounds really, really good.

          3. A bowl if chicken matzoh ball soup from Bernie's in Milwaukee circa 1964.

            A slab of ribs from The Barn in Cincinnati the way they were in 1978.

            A bratwurst from The Brathaus in Madison as they were in 1972.

            Fries from the Woolworth's lunch counter in Rochester NY as they tasted in 1966.

            A corned beef sandwich with a potato pancake from Izzy Kadetz in Cincinnati circa 1977.

            Finally, a frozen custard from the machine at the lunch counter at Lauremann's Department Store in Marrinette WI from around 1960.

            All washed down with Graf''s Ginger Ale from 1962.

            All of this together probably comes to around $40.00 in the eras referenced. And you didnt say anything about not being able to travel through time to get it.

            1. something that takes 40 years to prepare and eat

              2 Replies
              1. re: thew

                Now that's funny!!!! I was thinking along the same lines, trying to come up with something that marinated for days, went into a smoker for a week or two, had to "rest" for another week or so, could only be eaten on the first Wednesday, after the first Tuesday, in a two digit month, in a year ending in 9. Haven't been able to think of anything that fits this category, but I'm working on it!

                1. re: thew

                  haha id ask for that too ,i think thiers a food that takes a week to prepare...but it involves the guts of a goat...stuffed with rice...(6 days to clean the guts though..)

                2. First (and the actual most popular both among inmates and many chefs), fried chicken with mashed and slaw. Then some good smoky barbecued ribs, and for dessert, a small mooz apizza from Pepe's in New Haven. Some icy Bass Ale would go well with it all but maybe not allowed. (No, smoking and drinking are not allowed in prisons here in CT, but in the death cell, who knows?).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: junescook

                    I'm sure there's smoking and drinking, plus drug use in your state's prisons. Why do you think these people are in prison? They don't follow the rules. Also, I hope everyone realizes they can't get anything they want, they're limited to what is on hand at the particular institution.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      Looking back on this, there is no smoking in CT prisons, James, can you give us inside info where there is a breach of regulations? If the COs have to do it, hey, every body has to do it.

                  2. About 5 lbs of fried whole belly clams. They could cancel the execution 'cause this would do me in. Pass the tarter sauce and ketchup!

                      1. re: small h

                        Hey, you don't have to like it, just watch your language!

                        1. re: junescook

                          But I'm about to die! Lemme vent a little.

                      2. I've given this some thought before (I know, terribly morbid):

                        Start off with some really great baguette with good fresh unsalted butter

                        Move on to buttermilk pancakes.

                        Finish off with a cheddar cheese & tomato grilled cheese sandwich.

                        I think it's obvious I have a pretty serious carb addiction. :)

                        1. The problem with this scenario is that your last meal will almost certainly be prepared by the regular kitchen staff of the prison, so if you order your favorite food, say pizza, it will be a bitter and depressing mockery of all you hold dear that will reinforce the feeling of how pointless and alienating life is.

                          The better scenario for Chowhounds is that you are suffering from an incurable but not too painful disease that has left your digestive system intact, although you know you will not last the night. You can go most anywhere you choose for your last meal and have it prepared with the same skill and loving effort that you associate with amazing pleasure that will affirm your belief in oneness with the universe and will bestow upon you the comforting notion that you are leaving the world a better place and that perfection is attainable. What is the last thing you would want to pass by your lips?

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: Steve

                            Or, if I had to stick with the original 'death row' scenario, then I guess I'd have to say 275,863-hour sous vide rack of lamb.

                            1. re: Steve

                              Steve, on second thought, I think you have the better menu choice apropos the venue!

                              1. re: junescook

                                i like steves answer. because i already gave it above. harumph

                                1. re: thew

                                  I give you full credit for the inspiration.

                                  1. re: Steve

                                    lol .now i can sleep at night

                            2. re: Steve

                              The cons themselves make up the kitchen crews. The food in many maximum security pens can be quite good, especially for last meal requests. You will also have been on death row for so long that teh food will be good if you have the appetite.

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                In that case, I think I've got a great idea for the next Bobby Flay throwdown....

                              2. re: Steve

                                I have a cousin who's fairly high up in the guard hierarchy at a prison that does executions and has worked on Death Row. If an imminent executee requests a specific food item from a fast food place or a restaurant the prison will obtain it for them--but it has to be local (I believe within 30 miles of the prison). McDonald's and KFC are the most popular choices.

                                1. re: MandalayVA

                                  I have long believed that KFC is what happens to you before death.

                                  1. re: Steve

                                    Yeah, seriously, don't these people know about Popeye's?

                                2. re: Steve

                                  yeah, framed in those terms, i could almost imagine being able to swallow. i think i'd want some brunswick stew with a nice pastry crust and some pie. maybe chocolate cream.... just something simple that will be easy going down. i wouldn't want to waste money on anything i wouldn't be able to remeber and enjoy later....

                                  1. re: lil magill

                                    <i wouldn't want to waste money on anything i wouldn't be able to remeber and enjoy later....>

                                    Waste money? You can always put the meal on your credit card since YOU WILL BE DEAD when the bill comes.

                                  2. re: Steve

                                    Last thing: Keller's oysters and pearls.

                                  3. A bottle of wine. Numb is how I'd wanna go out.

                                    1. What if it is the last meal you are allowed/or able to cook for yourself. What would it be?

                                      I am still thinking on it myself.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bigfellow

                                        ooooh i like that twist. although i will stand by thew's answer to the end, lol. huh i have absolutely no idea! I guess i havent' lived long enough, i still love everything i eat, hehe

                                      2. I have been to old sparky in Florida twice and I can tell you no matter what you eat there is an inevitability, a air if you will of foreboding cold dark icy hand of death coming for them that cannot be stopped.and as such I saw twice the last meal come back up prior to riding the lightning.. so eat something you don't like save the memory of good food

                                        1. Since I do not eat fast food, I would request a Whopper from Burger King with Micky D's fries and Wendy's frosty all laced with arsenic....I'd take myself out!

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                            Awesome! If I ever commit a capital crime and get caught I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

                                            1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                              For someone who does not eat fastfoos you have hit the triple play of fastfood,,,, I tip my to you m'lady

                                              1. re: pikiliz

                                                I'd send out for an autehentic Newark style double Italian Hot Dog.

                                            2. I've thought about this one a lot lately, since reading that site a couple months ago, and then this post. I'd start off with a good caesar salad. Then a grilled porterhouse (medium rare but with crispy fat), baked potato with good butter and sour cream, and sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes. My mom's apple crisp for dessert.

                                              Or maybe a pile of freshly steamed main lobsters and drawn butter with plenty of napkins, lol.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: kubasd

                                                I will by dying soon as i have critical aortic stenosis and, since i'm a quadriplegic and do not have good pulmonary function, the heart surgeon changed his mind and will not operate on me. The last meal i plan to have while i am in my own home (and i can choose my meal) will be a lobster tail and a baked potato with sour cream...yum!

                                                1. re: maggiemaepickle

                                                  I'm so, so sorry, Maggie. But, damn! I surely do admire your spunky attitude!!!

                                                  1. re: maggiemaepickle

                                                    Maggie, I, too, admire your face-the-music attitude. I think your choice of lobster tail and baked tater w/sour cream is a great one. I'd just go a little farther and wash it all down with the most expensive champagne I could find!

                                                    1. re: maggiemaepickle

                                                      good luck on your last days
                                                      waren zevon when asked re any lessons learned from being terminal was boy that sandwich tasted good
                                                      i would do similar but the chine version from Kee's in Flatbush circam 1957
                                                      Cinese spare ribs, egg roll, Lobster Cantonese and then pistachio ice cream then i would walk with my late parenets home and my dad would let me have a slice from Mr. Pizza who had one thumb missing but was so sweet as was his wife.
                                                      His motto was of course you tried the rest jnow try the best.
                                                      We were working class but was food was love.
                                                      I had my mom write down some of her recipes and I still have the book.
                                                      i have always said if you cant love food you cant love life.
                                                      Brooklyn was the world and I would not change my childhood for anything
                                                      OH, by the way an Ebingers black out cake, a pineaplle uopside down crumb cake and a Mary Garden cake from the local bakery.
                                                      i am in tears already.

                                                      The game of the last meal is that you don't know it's your last meal until you go with a smile on your face.
                                                      [peace and love from this old hippie to all during these dreadful times.

                                                      1. re: maggiemaepickle

                                                        Oh Maggie, I am so saddned by your news. I know these sites are basically a community of strangers, but this site seems to draw the best of the best. And you are just that for so calmly facing your troubles and sharing them with us. Know that I am uplifted by your spirit and spunk just as much as I am made sad by your situation. God bless.

                                                    2. Assuming I could eat at all (I imagine my gut tied in knots, instead) it probably would include fresh asparagus--roasted with olive oil--pan-fried, lightly battered soft shell crabs (North Carolina style), really delicious, thick-cut french fries...and then some really, truly ripe peaches and bing cherries ( judging from all this, I guess I'm planning on dieing in the summer!), and for dessert, creme brulee (how the hell do you spell that? My spell-check can't find it). I guess I'd want an ice, cold beer in a cold, frosty mug with this.

                                                      Ugh. It's just too creepy to contemplate for long!

                                                      1. chicken fried steak, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits

                                                        1. steak ala pobre, roasted potato wedges, shabu shabu (wagyu beef please) and a big pitcher of frozen strawberry margarita

                                                          1. I would have Grandma Troutman's cinnamon rolls, her potato soup and her meatballs. And I would have my Grandma Goss' creamed chicken over baking powder biscuits and a slice of her pie. My requirement would be that each grandma makes these dishes with her own hands. And as they have both passed on, I'll never be executed.

                                                            1. Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, and an iceberg wedge with crumbled bacon and blue cheese. Sweet tea to drink.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                A bottle of cognac and a good cigar. If it doesn't kill me, at least I wouldn't give a shit I've looked death in the face and he is an ugly bastard.

                                                              2. There is no capital punishment in the country where I live.

                                                                Not interested in any last meal that doesn't involve a modicum of good wine, so I guess the whole exercise is pointless.

                                                                But I loved hearing from maggiemaepickle. I'm assuming her post is authentic. Remembering two dear chowhounds, Sam and Moh, chowhounds to the end.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                  maggiemaepickle's post was a one and only. Puts things in perspective.

                                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                                    Like lagatta (and most of the world), I live somewhere that doesnt have capital punishment so I have to say I find the whole nature of this thread quite disturbing - that such a thing can be discussed so casually. It really does send a shiver down my spine.

                                                                    And, yes, maggiemaepickle's sends an entirely different sort of shiver. It's part of the putting things in place that I suspect we'd all like to do, but rarely have chance to.

                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                      I'd love to hear more from maggiemaepickle, if she is up to posting. Maggie, I hope you can have some kind of comforts (as in "comfort me with apples", or whatever, and that we can be of some help. Don't be shy about asking people to send you or give you whatever would make you happy.

                                                                      Yes, I found the original premise most disturbing.

                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                        Yes Maggiemaepickle...hope you are well.

                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                        The US has it in some states of course (and we're vehemently opposed to it). I think the original premise as in what would you order fr your last meal were you on Death Row (the vodka and tranqs seems to me to be the best option actually) has morphed into what would you want as your last meal period. I'd want not to know it was my last!

                                                                    2. You know, if it were my last meal before being executed in a prison, I would be afraid to make requests for my favorite things to eat because I think they would be stale and cold and less delicious by the time they arrived for me, and I imagine I might be limited to the prison kitchen or the dining selection of a small prison town where Applebee's is king. But in a perfect world, if I were about to be executed on death row, I might like lobster in ginger garlic batter rang muoi style, some cheung fun, some dim some items, perhaps a crispy onion rava sada dosa, a bowl of pho dac biet, some barbacoa tacos in flour tortillas, and some pollo asado Monterrey style with green sauce. Oh, and some well seared foie gras with a tangy sauce to go with it. And some New York style cheese cake and Punjabi style gulab jamuns for dessert. I wonder if they could manage that in the prison. But if I knew I were going to die at some specific moment (baad asharr) I would definitely make sure I ate all of those favorites one last time before I died.

                                                                      1. A Taco Bell chicken supreme chalupa, Crab Shack coconut shrimp and boardwalk style fries. Cherry coke to wash it down and a container of Hagen Daas peanut butter and chocolate ice cream. Food of the gods for me.