Why 'Hangtown' outlaws used to order this unusual omelette

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Placerville, California was known as “Hangtown” during the Gold Rush because of all the executions that took place there. And when Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern visited, local chef Patrick Mulvaney revealed the origins of a very unusual omelette: “There was a prisoner who said, ‘For my last meal, what is the hardest to get to Placerville?’ Fresh oysters and fresh eggs. So he asked for the Hangtown Fry.”

The Hangtown Fry is an omelette with fresh oysters and smoked bacon. And even though Yelp didn’t exist in the 19th century, other death row inmates soon heard about the omelette good enough to die for — after the ingredients arrived.

“That became the traditional last meal before people got hung, because they could get themselves an extra couple of days,” Mulvaney said.

After tasting the omelette, Andrew Zimmern told Mulvaney, “I would take this as my last meal any day of the week if you were making it.”

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel.

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