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Zombie & Cannibalism Stories Lead Site to Investigate: What Does Human Flesh Taste Like?


" person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal."

The bizarre, violent and cannibalistic events that have unfolded over the past few weeks have left many wondering if a zombie apocalypse has befallen us. The disturbing tales of human beings losing control and, very literally, devouring their fellow man have dominated the headlines. From the bath salts incident involving a naked cannibal to allegations that a porn star murdered, dismembered and tasted flesh, the stories seem perfectly suited for horror film scripts. Unfortunately, they're reality.

(Related: Too Soon? Zombie Prank In Miami Almost Goes Horribly Wrong)

In the midst of discussion about what's driving the madness, the liberal outlet Slate decided to dig a little deeper into the fray to explore cannibalism and the grotesque questions involving what human flesh tastes like. While certainly an unnerving subject, considering recent events, it's no surprise that such an off-kilter topic is at the forefront of some media conversations.

Distressing past descriptors, Slat says, claim that human flesh tastes like veal. Slate's Brian Palmer has more about a decades-old book that makes this disturbing claim:

In his 1931 book Jungle Ways, American adventurer and journalist William Buehler Seabrook provided the world’s most detailed written description of the taste of human flesh. Seabrook noted that, in raw form, human meat looks like beef, but slightly less red, with pale yellow fat. When roasted, the meat turned grayish, as would lamb or veal, and smelled like cooked beef. As for the taste, Seabrook wrote, “It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal.”

There are reasons to question Seabrook’s account. He traveled to West Africa to get the inside scoop on cannibalism from the Guero people, but he later confessed that the distrustful tribesmen never allowed him to partake in their traditions. In his autobiography, Seabrook claims to have obtained the body of a recently deceased hospital patient in France and then cooked it on a spit. His description of man-eating in Jungle Ways came not from his experiences in West Africa, he said, but in Paris.

Below, hear a portion of the book (caution: disturbing content):

The Slate piece goes on the claim that Seabrook's account, though questionable, is among one of the most looked to when attempting to understand the issue. After all, the only individuals who generally speak out on the taste of human flesh are typically murderers and maniacs. While various tribes do partake in various parts of the world, getting their perspective is difficult to say the least.

We'll spare you the rest of the details here, but you can read the entire Slate piece, which includes a plethora of more detailed information on this disturbing topic, here.

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