Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Death by Chili


Busboy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well, my first thought was that Brits ought to stay away from proper American food and stick to boiling potatoes or making Shepherd's Pie or toad in the hole or whatever it is that makes English food so un-assertive.

My second was that if peppers were capable of killing of Englishmen, then the emergence of vindaloo as the national dish would have devastated the population. (Anybody ever read London Fields by Amis the Younger? Excellent curry-eating scenes)

My third thought was can chili kill?

Andinteresting thought, given that I'll be having Thai tonight.

More here.

Andrew Lee, 33, suffered heart failure the morning after he ate the chilli.

Toxicology tests are now being carried out to see if the fork lift truck driver suffered a fatal reaction to the dish or whether anything else contributed to his death.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my first thought was that Brits ought to stay away from proper American food and stick to boiling potatoes or making Shepherd's Pie or  toad in the hole or whatever it is that makes English food so un-assertive.

Scandalous statement! Who do i complain to about this? Let's all laugh at boring English food again :biggrin: No seriously, that poor fella, his family must be devastated. Spare a thought also for the girlfriend's brother who he had the cook-off with. Macho competition gone horribly wrong. I wonder what type of chillis he used, maybe it was the Dorset Naga (possibly hottest in the world.... grown in boring old England no less). But i just can't imagine how chilli could kill a man outright though. Especially a big strapping Yorkshireman.

BTW, "proper American food"? I thought Chili was Mexican..... (runs and ducks for cover)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yikes!

But for a chef to die like that . . . . there are worse ways to go.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My intestinal tract reacts to "chilis" (the species Capsicum annumm) - from the mildest paprika to the hottest jalapeños - as if they were poison. Sometimes I will only be part way through dinner when the skin starts peeling off my lips. The cramps and diarrhea come later and often last well into the next day. Could this kill me? I don't want to know.

I try to avoid chili but it is so ubiquitous, and can be hard to detect if it is added, for instance, as a just pinch in a sauce. Wait staff tend to assume I just can't take the heat, and steer me wrong/blow me off about 90% of the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently the capsicum in chiles can harm or even kill people who have a vulnerability to it.

"Capsicum sprays and gels can potentially kill people who have a heart condition or a respiratory illness, as they can cause increased heart rate and restrict breathing." http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/14/1094927584068.html

Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to capsicum and can die from an overdose.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=A...55a4bb3926ad822

An overdose of wasabi can also be fatal. Years ago I heard about a new patron at a sushi bar who didn't know what the wasabi was for. He ate the whole ball of wasabi in one mouthful and died of a heart attack. A sushi chef I know (not connected with this incident) told me that too much wasabi can have a negative effect on the heart and respiratory system. He told me exactly what the wasabi does physiologically, but I don't remember it now (couldn't find the answer on the web, either). I guess I'll have to go out for sushi soon and ask him. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yikes!

But for a chef to die like that . . . . there are worse ways to go.

Small quibble, but he wasn't a chef. He was a fork-lift driver who wanted to be a chef, but didn't want to start out on the bottom.

I had read a couple of articles regarding his death, and it sounded more like an allergic reaction to something--he also used some kind of hot chile sauce in the chili, I think. Dolmio sauce--what's that?

Here's the article.

ETA: Dolmio is some kind of jarred spaghetti sauce.

Edited by prasantrin (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The article says that he was itching all over when he went to bed, to the point where his girlfriend scratched his back to help alleviate it. Clearly, this was a massive allergic reaction, but they didn't recognize that the itching was a symptom. Maybe the chilis, maybe something else.

I'm allergic to roasting chilis and peppers, to the point where my throat closes up. I almost went to New Mexico on vacation until I saw that they roast peppers all over the area in the Fall, when I was able to go. No point in dying on vacation...

Edited by lala (log)

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my first thought was that Brits ought to stay away from proper American food and stick to boiling potatoes or making Shepherd's Pie or  toad in the hole or whatever it is that makes English food so un-assertive.

Steady there Cap'n Stereotype! :raz: There's nothing unassertive about a bloody good shepherds pie, same for toad in the hole. Probably something to do with the country's weather (generally grey, generally raining) that we like comforting, savoury food. And the whole boiled potato thing is not a favourite of mine, it seems to be slowly going. Nothing beats mash though. And modern british cooking is very exciting, as i'm sure most brits on here would attest to. Back to the thread anyway.

Capsaicin allergy seems likely, its nasty stuff if your body doesnt take to it. I can't imagine that the scratching of the itch would help very much.

Interesting, slightly related story. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/south_y...ire/7657594.stm

Edited by CalumC (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The article says that he was itching all over when he went to bed, to the point where his girlfriend scratched his back to help alleviate it. Clearly, this was a massive allergic reaction, but they didn't recognize that the itching was a symptom.  Maybe the chilis, maybe something else.

I'm allergic to roasting chilis and peppers, to the point where my throat closes up. I almost went to New Mexico on vacation until I saw that they roast peppers all over the area in the Fall, when I was able to go. No point in dying on vacation...

Lala's right. He died from anaphylaxis, the result of ingesting (or be bitten by, or rubbing up against) something you're allergic to. I know that all you guys know what an epi-pen is. In his case it came on rapidly. It was from something he ate but had few symptoms until near the end. When I have a significant overdose to my allergy shots, I begin with a productive cough. I never get to the itching point because I recognize it and they give me O2 and an injection of a lot of epinephrine.

Any food can do it to someone. It sounds like he normally ate chiles, so this is probably not the cause. MomOfLittleFoodies, I've never seen peanut butter in chile sauce except for one origin: Africa. Morocco and other nations use "groundnut" in their recipes.

DJyee100, I have never experienced that and know of no cases, after reading the article.

Nibor -- your's sound much different than a systemic allergic reaction . . . can it be something like celiac disease is for wheat consumers?

And prawncrackers, you're probably right on the dorset naga (AKA bhut jolokia, and Naga jolokia). That one has been found (by chromatography) to be WAY hotter than the Red Savina habanero, which is around 600,000 Scovilles, compared to the Naga a million or more.

John S.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually the dorset naga and bhut jolokia are from India. We've grown them in our garden the last two years. Yes, they are that hot. The tiniest of slivers will leave you burning for hours. One friend wanted to try a piece and wound up with a bloody nose. Almost smells like celery. One strip was enough to make a gallon of pickle slices practically too hot to eat; and that's for those that can tolerate heat very well! :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Tommy Smother's once almost drowned in a vat of chili. He was saved when he started yelling "Fire," cause "no one would know to save him if he yelled chili."

Sorry to resurrect a dead thread - but I was browsing along and ran across a classic 'Smothers Brothers' gem and couldn't help but applaud you, Holly. :D

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my first thought was that Brits ought to stay away from proper American food and stick to boiling potatoes or making Shepherd's Pie or toad in the hole or whatever it is that makes English food so un-assertive.

Having tried Heston Blumenthal's chili recipe (In Search of Perfection, Season 2 Episode 6) my first reaction was to heartily concur with this sentiment.

Then again, perhaps I am wrong about the Brits and it's just Blumenthal who is utterly clueless?

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then again, perhaps I am wrong about the Brits and it's just Blumenthal who is utterly clueless?

Blumenthal is far from clueless. The problem is, people see his "In Search of Perfection" shows or books and make the assumption that he claims to make the perfect version of those dishes when he actually makes it quite clear to those who take the time to listen/read that he is making his perfect version of those dishes. He shares the journey with us but the destination was all about getting the dish where he wanted it to be... not where we think it should be.

As for the now ancient subject at hand, I don't know whether or not chiles can kill (aside from an allergy being involved) but I do know most super hot sauces and extracts come with warnings for those with heart and respiratory problems and some even require signing a waiver at time of purchase... which may or may not be part of the show rather than an actual attempt at warning people. I'm a recovered chile-head who used to seek out the hottest of the hot and none of them caused me any problems that time and sitting on an ice pack wouldn't cure. :biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My uncle got stomach ulcers some years ago, and he was told by the doctor that he would have to lay off chiles and hot foods (amongst other things). So I suppose if one had stomach ulcers and persisted in eating chiles, you could die from internal bleeding.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you can fairly say someone who takes a well-defined ethnic or regional dish and alters it beyond recognition, with no regard to its cultural context, to the point where members of that ethnicity/natives of that region no longer recognize the dish, yet insists on calling it by its original name, clueless, for at least certain definitions of cluelesness. Feel free to differ.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he's a good cook and he's hella entertaining, he's just, er, clueless. I look forward to a future episode showing us his perfect gefilte fish, poached in pork stock and milk.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done a lot of his recipes from the series but not that one in particular so I'll have to give you this one. On paper, it's beef, beans, beef stock, vegetables and a chile blend. Granted, a much more complicated preparation than the usual pot of chili involves but, in the end, pretty much the same idea. Maybe the end result doesn't justify the means... I'll have to give it a shot sometime.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...