Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: cannibalism ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: cannibalism
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: hungryi-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 13 Jun 2002 11:58 PDT
Expires: 13 Jul 2002 11:58 PDT
Question ID: 25316
what does human flesh taste like?
Subject: Re: cannibalism
Answered By: j_philipp-ga on 13 Jun 2002 12:53 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Hungryi,

Of course you'll hardly come across someone serving you a first-hand
experience of Cannibalism -- the eating of human flesh by humans, also
known as anthropophagy. But the following should give you good

Quote Theroux from "Fine Old Cannibals" by D. Trull
""It was a theory of mine that former cannibals of Oceania now feasted
on Spam because Spam came the nearest to approximating the porky taste
of human flesh," Theroux wrote in The Happy Isles of Oceania. "'Long
pig' as they called a cooked human in much of Melanesia. (...) And in
the absence of Spam they settled for corned beef, which also had a
corpsy flavor.""

When Michael Krieger, author of "Conversations with the Cannibals -
The End of the Old South Pacific" was asked what human flesh tastes
like, he responded:
"Some said it really didn't taste like any other meat, and others said
that it tasted somewhat like chicken or beef, but not exactly."

To quote Jeremy MacClancy from Gary Allen's elaborate and well worth
reading "What is the flavor of human flesh?":
"From all accounts, human meat is very sweet."

Even others say human flesh tastes "peculiar" [1] or "something like
monkey meat" [2]. (The latter being underlined in Garry Allen's
article as well by anthropologist Jack Petrie.) Fiction makes us
believe its "unforgettable" [3] and "delicious" [4], especially to the
darker souls.

Let me quote New York Times reporter William Bueller Seabrook from
Allen's article, who opposes what he calls the "long pig" legend:
"It was like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef.
(...) It was mild, good meat with no other sharply defined or highly
characteristic taste such as for instance, goat, high game, and pork
have. (...) The roast, from which I cut and ate a central slice, was
tender, and in color, texture, smell as well as taste, strengthened my
certainty that of all the meats we habitually know, veal is the one
meat to which this meat is accurately comparable. As for any other
special taste or odor of a sort which would be surprising and make a
person who had tasted it not knowing exclaim, 'What is this?' it had
absolutely none."

But do cannibals just enjoy the taste, or is this behavior triggered
by other reasons? Quote Occultopedia:
"Sometimes there was simply limited food. Some groups liked the taste
of human flesh. But mostly the reasons had to do with revenge or
punishment for crimes, ceremony and ritual, or magic."

Hope this answers it!



[2] sci.antrhopology, Re: Taste of Human Flesh

[3] Slave Of The Cannibal God (1978)

[4] Trouble Every Day (2001)

Worthwile movie to check out (based on a true story):
    Alive (1993)
    "Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snow swept
    Andes are forced to eat each other to survive
    after a plane crash"

Search terms:
    cannibal "taste of human flesh"
    "conversations with the cannibals" book
hungryi-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
well done! (pun intended)

Subject: Re: cannibalism
From: walbo-ga on 13 Jun 2002 14:28 PDT
like chicken?????
Subject: Re: cannibalism
From: plotinus-ga on 14 Jun 2002 04:49 PDT
I can't give you any references, but I've always understood that human
beings taste very salty, which is why wild animals who start eating
them tend to get a taste for it. And I believe that the cannibals of
New Guinea used to consider the hands to be the best "cut" -
especially the fleshy bit at the base of the thumb. Mmmm!

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy