When it comes to death it’s an experience that all of us only ever get to experience once. Sure, some of us will get a dress rehearsal where we may come exceedingly close to death, or even be brought back from the Pearly Gates, or Purgatory, depending on how well behaved you have been. But even with these very close calls, death is something that every single one of us will only ever get to experience once. We can’t even share our experience with those that have been left behind. So seeing as it’s a once in a lifetime thing, why not go out in a way that will be remembered? That’s exactly what Adolf Frederick of Sweden did when he became known as the king who ate himself to death.
Morbid obesity, it’s normally not something that many of us would aspire to, but nonetheless, it’s a condition that can trap a lot of people, even those that think it would never happen to them. I personally know someone that was as thin as a rake a decade ago, and is now rounder than a beach ball, all thanks to a lack of exercise and overeating. That, would you believe it, was part of the deadly combination that resulted in Adolf Frederick of Sweden becoming the king who ate himself to death.
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Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good meal and desert as much as anyone. But we all should use a little self-control, for our own benefit. Unfortunately for king Adolf, this was something that he really lacked.
On February 12, 1771, king Adolf Frederick met his untimely end, and entered into Swedish folklore when he sat down for an overindulgent meal. His meal, fit for a king, of course, consisted of lobster, caviar, kippers, sauerkraut, and champagne. Now for most of us an extravagant meal like that would satisfy our appetite, but not king Adolf. He still had room for desert.
So after consuming a meal that would feed a lot of people around the world for a week, he indulged in his favorite desert, Semla. Semla is a traditional Swedish pastry that is made from semolina/wheat flour. His dish was filled with almond paste, and served in a bowl of hot cream. It was oozing as much in deliciousness as it was in calories. One dish should have satisfied any normal person, but not this man. Not even two of his favorite dishes was enough. Fourteen dishes later he had his fill and paid the ultimate price.
Shortly after this massive meal, he died from digestive problems, which should not come as a surprise. He has since gone down in history as the king who ate himself to death.