The Rapture Diet: Truly Last Meals

If you've been following the human interest or "lighter side"-style news items of late, you've probably noticed that the world is basically due to end on May 21, 2011, also known as Judgment Day. That's right: There is less than one week left before the Rapture. If you're into that sort of thing, you're going to be whisked off to heaven while the rest of us sinners (Buddhists, Jews, Episcopalians, Agnostics, Free Thinkers, particular Lutheran synods, etc.) flounder around dying horribly and eating one another's fiery entrails until sometime in October when the world truly ends once and for all.

Either way: There probably won't be a lot of great eating later this month when Jesus returns and, quite literally, all hell breaks loose.

This raises an important point: What to eat in the meantime? How to say goodbye to this blue-green marble in the sky? A few options for those inclined to go out with a gastronomic bang:

Ortolan

Former French president François Mitterrand famously had one glorious, over-the-top, mind-blowing final meal, beautifully detailed in this Esquire article. The pinnacle of the event: an ortolan, "a small, yellow-throated songbird that was illegal to eat. Rare and seductive, the bird—ortolan—supposedly represented the French soul. And this old man, this ravenous president, had taken it whole—wings, feet, liver, heart. Swallowed it, bones and all. Consumed it beneath a white cloth so that God Himself couldn't witness the barbaric act."

Well, that sounds pretty good. And hey, if you're one of the billions not Rapture-bound, just skip the God-proof cloth and enjoy yourself. As you chew, give God a thumbs-up or "OK" sign if you really want to throw caution to the wind.

A Classic Chinese Banquet

One prescription for a Chinese banquet: eight or ten cold dishes, soup, a decorative meat dish, more meats including the likes of lobster, pork, scallops, chicken, Peking duck, and then a whole fish to round things out, head pointed at the guest of honor. You're unlikely to lose weight, but the conversation and wine will flow like water, and you'll have a lot to chat about with your fellow penitents in whatever sorry afterlife you're doomed to suffer through for eternity.

A Really Great Corned Beef Sandwich

If you've ever been to a world-class deli (New York and Toronto are two good starting points for this particular quest) you know the appeal of a really great corned beef sandwich. The meat is warm, tender, gorgeously rich stuff set off by sturdy rye bread and zippy mustard, subtle and indulgent, a fantastic last meal for those bidding adieu to all earthly concerns of heart health or weight management.

KFC Double Down

Shoot, why not? You've earned it, champ. And when you're roasting eternally, at least you'll have the small comfort of having put the culinary prowess of KFC to the test before shuffling off this mortal coil. Just don't talk to the guy who had the Chinese banquet, or else you're going to be depressed.

Image sources: Pig's ear and cucumber salad: Flickr member nekonomania under Creative Commons; egg flower soup: Flickr member stu_spivack under Creative Commons; corned beef sandwich: Flickr member stu_spivack under Creative Commons; Double Down: kfc.com