Adolf Frederick; the King That Ate Himself to Death

Gluttony is a curse, and it’s much more prevalent in more affluent communities than others. King Adolf Frederick of Sweeden took his gluttony to the next level.

Adolf Frederick was the monarch of Sweden from 1751-1771. It was a prosperous time in Sweden called the Age of Liberty. Sweden was succeeding economically, it was peaceful and prosperous in Europe, and Lent was quickly approaching.

On February 12th, 1771, it was Shrove (Fat) Tuesday. This is a common practice in Christianity, indulge on Fat Tuesday, and then fast for the next 40 days in observance of god.

The commonfolk indulged as extravagantly as they could afford, but members of the monarchy had the upper hand with rich and decadent ingredients.

Frederick dined alone as he polished off plates of lobster, kippers, sauerkraut, boiled beef, and turnips, all covered in caviar.

Somehow, the king was not satisfied after eating that terribly dense meal, so he chose to eat some dessert and drink some champagne as well.

The king demanded semlas, which are Swedish pastries similar to the Italian sfogliatella, but sliced in half and filled with whipped cream. A generous serving of semlas would be 3-4 pastries, but King Frederick needed more to stave off his hunger.

King Frederick polished off two bottles of champagne, 56 semlas, and he ate them all out of a bowl that was full of warm milk, cinnamon, honey, and raisins.

Later on that day, King Frederick experienced some intense digestive pain that increased in intensity until he died, 12 hours after eating his massive meal.

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