111-Year-Old Australian’s Secret to Longevity

Dexter Kruger (Image: Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

Winston Churchill, who lived to age 90, is said to have started each day with an 8-ounce tumbler of Scotch. Whether this was the key to his long life, he once observed that “Whiskey has killed more men than bullets, but most men would rather be full of whiskey than bullets.”

These days magazines are full of diets and other lifestyle makeovers that will enable you to outwit the grim reaper. Some, such as the recommendation that you drink cockroach milk, should be taken with a grain of salt (though I’m not sure a grain of salt is enough to make the thought of swilling down bug excretions palatable).

The same might be said about retired cattle rancher Dexter Kruger’s secret to longevity. Kruger, who celebrated his 111th birthday several months ago, maintains that the answer is chicken brains. “You know, chickens have a head. And in there, there’s a brain,” he told the Associated Press. “And they are delicious little things. There’s only one little bite.”

As a brains aficionado from way back, I’m inclined to believe there might be something to one of Kruger’s claims — i.e., his assertion that “they are delicious little things.” Cervelle de veau (calf brains, to you) is one of the great French delicacies — at once creamy and unctuous, classically served in black butter with boiled potatoes. One of the best brains dishes I ever had was a lamb brain curry at the late great Nirvana on Central Park South. Sadly brains are not as common as they once were on New York’s restaurant menus.

As to whether eating chicken brains adds years to your life, I’ll wait for the movie.

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