RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Your honor, he didn't mean to poison readers

Posted by Sheryl Julian  August 5, 2008 11:07 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article


This jolly-looking fellow is British celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson -- of Notting Grill, Barnes Grill, and Kew Grill -- who loves to forage. In a "Healthy & Organic Living" article recently, Thompson recommends looking around for something called henbane. Only problem is, henbane (literally "killer of hens" in Anglo-Saxon), according to, "can cause hallucinations, convulsions, vomiting, and death." The article continues: "Previous champions of henbane include Dr. Crippen, who used an extract of the plant to poison his wife. In 'Hamlet,' Claudius uses a potion containing the drug to kill the king."

Chef Worrall Thompson issued an apology. "Mr Worrall Thompson, who has insured his tongue for £500,000 to protect his tastebuds, is currently on holiday in Spain," the article continues. "He told The Times yesterday: 'I was thinking of a wild plant with a similar name, not this herb, but of course I’ve ended up killing half the nation instead.' "

Oh well.

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

The Recipe Box Project:

If you want to contribute a recipe to The Recipe Box Project, please write it below. Also tell us where you got it (package box, cookbook, mom, friend -- include the name). We're looking for the kinds of dishes that people grew up on, that were served at family suppers, that tell a story, that are typically New England, or that you brought with you from a far away place to New England. We will print one of the recipes in the Food section once a month. To ask any questions, write to Debra Samuels, who is overseeing this project, at To discuss your recipes, click here.