Castro’s Ice-Cream Headache

A very short book excerpt

Joe McKendry

Like Washington and Jefferson, the founding father of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, loved ice cream. His friend Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist, recalled in “A Personal Portrait of Fidel” that the leader once concluded a large lunch by eating 18 scoops of ice cream. According to CIA documents declassified in 2007, the CIA noticed Castro’s ice-cream fetish and tried, unsuccessfully, to plant a poison pill in his favorite chocolate milkshake. Apparently the assassin stored the pill in an ice-cream freezer, and it got stuck and fell apart when he tried to take it out.

Adapted from Milk! A 10,000-Year Food Fracas, by Mark Kurlansky, published by Bloomsbury