A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 05, 2010
“Heart attack on a stick” ("Cholesterol on a stick")

"Heart attack on a stick” (or “cholesterol on a stick) is a dish loaded with potentially artery-clogging food. “Heart attack on a stick” is cited in print since at least August 1995 and “cholesterol on a stick” since October 1995. The expression “heart attack on a stick” first described the corn dog, but was gradually extended to describe many other “on-a-stick” offerings (usually sold at state fairs).

Similar expressions include “heart attack on a plate” (since April 1988), “heart attack on a bun” (since February 1992), “heart attack in a bag” (since January 1995), “heart attack in a can” (since February 1998), “heart attack in a bottle” (since July 1999) and “heart attack on a rack” (since 2009).

25 August 1995, Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Fair Fare—without the odors or nausea” by Shawn Levy, pg. E1:
If you want to bask in the perfume of giant hogs, eat that heart-attack-on-a-stick known as a corn dog or make your inner ear spin like a roulette wheel, then head on down to the Oregon State Fair.

15 October 1995, Washington (DC) Post, “Having a wonderful time, wish you were here"by Clark Norton, Magazine, pg. W23: 
But when my preteen daughter refused to order one more time from the children’s menu ("I’ve had it with corn dogs!") and my teenage son balked at cavorting with Mickey and Goofy, tensions arose. While advising readers on how to keep their kids happy and eager travelers—comfortable schedules! age-appropriate activities! fresh fruit!—I found myself dragging my own to three theme parks, two forts and five museums a day and forcing them to eat coated cholesterol on a stick.

22 November 1995, South Florida (FL) Sun-Sentinel, “Fare at the fair is not all fat” by Deborah S. Hartz, pg. 1E:
What would the Broward County Fair in Hallandale be without fried dough topped with a snowstorm of sugar? Or a Polish sausage oozing grease into its airy bun? And don’t forget to get your heart-attack-on-a-stick (aka a corn dog).

30 December 1998, Milwaukee (WI) Journal-Sentinel, “Bruins’ defense put on spot” by Dale Hoffman, Sports, pg. 1:
Now the four unfortunates, accompanied by their coordinator and lightning rod, were being called upon to explain at a news conference what they couldn’t even tell their classmates. It would be easier in these precincts to sell cholesterol on a stick.

2 August 1999, Star-Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN). “Monday Morning Quarterback"by Brian Wicker, pg.12C:
The Minnesota State Fair still is the official end of summer, when kids have a chance to eat cholesterol-on-a-stick and experience their last gasp of scholastic freedom before getting another teacher who doesn’t understand them.

12 June 2002, NBC News - Today Show:
Profile: Marc Summers of the Food Network’s “Unwrapped” shows how to make carnival treats
MATT LAUER, co-host: This morning on TODAY’S KITCHEN, we’re talking about carnival food unwrapped. From cotton candy to caramel apples and things like corn dogs, everyone has a favorite summer treat. But you don’t have to wait until you go to a carnival to sample those treats, you can make a lot of them right in your own home.
Marc Summers is host of “Unwrapped” on the Food Network and he’s here to take some of the mystery out of carnival food.
Cor--what is actually in a corn dog? I’ve passed these 100 times, never had one.
Mr. SUMMERS: Cornmeal and flour and a little honey, a little salt. Cholesterol on a stick is what we have right here.
LAUER: Right.

22 August 2002, CNN - Live at Daybreak:
Interview with Jimmy Barrett
Carol Costello, Chad Myers
COSTELLO: You’re talking about junk food.
BARRETT: It’s a favorite. We were talking about taxing food before. I think you can send the tax collector to this year’s Virginia State Fair. I think we have a graphic for you on this one. I get a kick out of this. I love the State Fair. I think it has a wonderful place and I love, virtually love the food that they serve at the State Fair. Nothing beats a good funnel cake or an elephant ear.

But even I was surprised by this. Have you ever heard of fried Oreos?
BARRETT: Fried Snicker bars?
BARRETT: Fried corn on the cob? I mean we’re…
MYERS: That sounds good.
BARRETT: We’re going to fry everything.
MYERS: Fried pickles.
BARRETT: Fried pickles.
MYERS: That doesn’t sound good.
BARRETT: Now, the only thing missing from this story is there’s a wonderful sponsorship opportunity that I think the Virginia State Fair is missing out on, at least as far as I know it’s not sponsored. How about the American Cardiology Association? They could have a registration table there.
MYERS: Heart attack on a stick.
BARRETT: Exactly.

15 September 2002, Seattle (WA) Times, Northwest Voices, pg. C3:
Corpus crispy Temple of the lard
I need to know how, in an age where America is reportedly more obese and sedentary than ever before, a fluff piece on deep-fried Twinkies could be presented as anything other than a public-health warning ("Deep-fried Twinkies get raves in Puyallup,” Local News, Sept. 12).

Why not an article on lard shakes, or the benefits of eating a pound of bacon a day? Maybe you could add a section to the food column on where to get the most sugar for your cotton-candy dollar? I’m sure the diabetics would find that information helpful.

The Puyallup Fair has plenty to offer. You don’t need to concentrate on the heart-attack-on-a-stick stand to sell papers.
Chris Lundgren, Seattle

New York (NY) Times
BUSINESS TRAVEL; Going Off the Beaten Path: Rewards and Woes
Published: December 31, 2002
Dining can be equally adventurous, with restaurants tending to serve what a traveler described as ‘’a heart attack on a stick—everything is covered in gravy, or deep- fried and then covered in gravy.’’

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, September 05, 2010 • Permalink