Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Top 7 Foods That Will Dig You A Grave

  1. Chicken Wings. Outside of the internet and pornography, beer and chicken wings are without question the greatest combination in the history of the universe. Often referred to as mortal man’s kryptonite, the lure of the chicken wing lies in its beautiful simplicity. Cut off chicken’s appendage, cover with breading, throw in a deep fryer, bathe in your favorite spicy flavoring, dip in ranch or dill sauce, stuff into mouth, inhale and repeat. With martinis, the common refrain is “one is not enough, and three is too many”, but with the chicken wing, I would suggest, “one is not enough, 25, eeeh, still probably not enough." The appeal may also be rooted in the primitive nature of tearing an animal’s flesh off the bone, or perhaps just being served by large-busted women clad in tight orange, ham-wallet exposing shorts. Either way, in all their deep-fried goodness, chicken wings provide an exceptional heart-stopping friend to your beer and your cardiologist.
  2. Potatoes. Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids (solanine and chaconine), toxic compounds which are more prevalent in the wild potato varieties. Cooking at high temperatures mostly removes the toxin, although headaches, diarrhea, and cramps—and in severe cases, coma and death—can occur in rare cases. Ever wonder why we’re told to keep potatoes away from light? It’s to prevent higher concentrations of solanine. So don’t eat potatoes after they have turned green.
  3. Blowfish (Fugu). This fish is deadly on its own, and highly regarded as a Japanese and Hong Kong delicacy. It’s poison, tetrodotoxin, is 1,200 times more potent than cyanide. Around one hundred diners die each year from it. Preparation is the key; make sure a licensed chef prepares your Fugu. Becoming a licensed Fugu chef is a long and intensive process, culminating in the chef preparing a Fugu meal and eating it himself. The most deadly parts of Fugu include the liver, muscles, ovaries, and skin.
  4. Stuffed Crust Double-Cheeseburger Pizza. Otherwise known as the “fat-bastard special," this coronary in a cardboard box should probably come with a parental warning. “Letting your child order this pizza will probably lead to him being air-lifted out of bed on a future episode of Jerry Springer." Pizza the Hutt himself would have had a hard time choking down one of these hot and greasy pies but I guess North America had to develop something for fat people who can’t make decisions. Even bulimics won’t touch this offering because the weight gain is so rapid they don’t have time to heave it back up.
  5. Mushrooms. Most people know that certain types of mushrooms can be deadly. The more common poisonings come from the Death Cap (often confused for the Paddy Straw mushroom), Destroying Angels, and Deadly Webcap. Death Caps alone contain over seven toxins and one bite can lead to a nasty death. Watch out for the Gyomitra, which is often confused for Morrel.
  6. Chocolate. Chocolate contains the alkaloid theobromine, which in unusually high doses can be toxic to humans. However, it would take an unholy amount of chocolate to achieve this. But other species react much worse: dogs, parrots, horses, and cats can be killed by ingesting chocolate.
  7. Tomato. Although the fruit itself is safe (more technically a berry), tomato plants contain glycoalkaloids, which are indeed toxic.