Thursday, March 8, 2012

What Wine Goes Best With Human Flesh?

William Buehler Seabrook, a journalist in the 1920s, set out to live with African cannibals so he could learn the answer to a perplexing question: what does human flesh taste like? Unfortunately, after all that trouble he found that the cannibals he met weren't interested in sharing, so he was reduced to bribing an intern at the Sarbonne Hospital to steal a slice of meat from the corpse of a recent accident victim.

It was like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was very definitely like that, and it was not like any other meat I had ever tasted. 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. It was mild, good meat with no other sharply defined or highly characteristic taste such as for instance, goat, high game, and pork have.

Knowing this much, what then becomes the best wine pairing? According to World Wine, the answer may be, as we've always known: Chianti.

Yes, the wine depends on the exact dish, but the basic plate of Veal Chops is recommended to be accompanied by Chianti or Pinot Noir. Veal Shanks go with a nice Burgundy or Red Bordeaux.


  1. Hahaha awesome. Can't believe he managed to steal a slice of meat... I wonder how fresh it was...

    1. I've been looking everywhere for my original source, but it seems to be long gone. I first heard the story years ago from some website. Details as I recall:

      The African cannibals tried to give Seabrook monkey meat instead of human, but he found it out and thus bred the need to bribe the intern for body parts. The victim was the first available person who came into the morgue that had died in good health -- his death was by motorcycle accident (and I assume may have been in a condition where a missing chunk of meat might not be noticed.) Seabrook fried the meat in butter and tried to keep the preparation very simple so as not to contaminate the flavor. He pretended then that he'd succeeded at eating with the cannibals. Then after all this trouble, word somehow got leaked about the monkey meat and no one believed him. I think the account of how he really got the meat might have even been posthumously printed.


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