What if you were on Death Row and had to order a final meal? Maybe the reasons for being on Death Row are entirely vague and have absolutely no bearing at all on this delicate last meal decision. The fact is this would be a last ever meal with no restrictions on what we might order, so what would it be and what would you order for your last meal?
Are there really still last meals served up in US prisons?
In reality there are 31 states in America that still carry the death penalty, but not all give condemned prisoners the opportunity to choose their last meal. For example the tradition was abolished in the state of Texas in 2011 following the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Brewer ordered the following for his final meal:
Two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas; a meat-lover’s pizza; one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers.
The state provided Brewer with this meal at great cost. When the food arrived, Brewer claimed he was not very hungry and didn’t eat a mouthful.
Things aren’t what they used to be
Condemned prisoners are also likely to be served their final meal a few days prior to their execution and there are restrictions on what can be ordered. In Florida the food for the last meal has to be purchased locally and the cost is limited to $40. In Luisiana the cost is limited to $15. Alcohol is never allowed and in some states the prisoner has to choose from the existing prison menu.
So what are the most popular dishes chosen by condemned prisoners for their last meal?
Reports are conflicting but generally agree that comfort foods such as fried chicken, cheeseburgers, pizzas, hamburger meat, bread and chips are the most popular requests, followed by incredibly sweet deserts and usually washed down with two or three cokes or Dr Peppers.
Would this be your choice too? Do we always fall back on the high fat, high calorific, high sugar comfort foods we all know and love in times of great stress? Bearing in mind that a lot of us have to try and avoid these kinds of foods most of the time due to various health reasons. Wouldn’t we be happy to throw all caution to the wind if this were our last meal ever? Why not?
Or would you go for something a little more up market, a little more fine dining perhaps for your last supper?
Me? I haven’t made my final choice yet. It changes all the time, depending on what mood I may be in or even what the weather is like. I don’t know what food I would order yet, but I do know it would be washed down with a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon and maybe a good brandy to finish. I’m not going to leave what I eat for my last meal to chance.
How about you?