Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Real Last Supper

As a food writer, I interview my fair share of chefs, and one of those "default" questions I often pose is what their last suppers would be. It's hardly an original question -- Melanie Dunea put together a cookbook called The Last Supper detailing the imaginary final meals of 50 chefs, from Ferran Adria to Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver to Alain Ducasse. I've never particularly considered it a morbid question, although it supposes that these chefs are on death row, or at least forces them to confront impending and inevitable death.

But then Buzzfeed Food posted 12 photos of actual last suppers -- aerial views of meals requested by the likes of Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy -- as a way of seeing into the psyches of men facing the end. The stark visuals, depicting anything from an empty lunch tray to plates brimming with KFC, are surprisingly emotional in quality, and borderline creepy in some instances. Either way, they force you to give pause. The fact that so many request food that is comforting is a heart-wrenching reminder, even when we're talking about mass murderers and rapists, of the human instinct for reassurance that is so universal, whether we are criminals or commoners. Worth a look here, although kind of a chilling side to the world of food porn.

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