What Does Human Flesh Taste Like?

Q: Not that I’m interested in being one, but I’ve always been fascinated with cannibals. In some cultures, cannibalism is common; however, I never have heard anyone comment on the flavor. What does human flesh taste like? Is there any way to know for sure without trying some yourself?

A: While not as common as it used to be, cannibalism appears throughout history in multiple cultures around the world. Although many explorers have visited these cultures, few have participated in their man eating customs.

However, there was one famous journalist from the New York Times who actually did participate in the West African Guere tribe‚Äôs custom of eating human meat. In the early 1900s, William Buehler Seabrook visited Guere tribe to research a story. According to Seabrook, he asked a chief what man meat tasted like; however, he wasn’t able to attain a straight answer.

Ultimately, Seabrook agreed to sample the cooked flesh of a man who’d recently fell victim to an accident. Later, he recounted the experience in his book, Jungle Ways, writing that the flavor was most similar to veal, though the texture was a bit tougher.

Although other reports have compared the human flesh taste to sour pork, experts have suggested that the actual flavor is dependent on the individual’s diet and lifestyle, as well as the particular cut of meat. According to Seabrook, he sampled roasted loin and rump steak during his time with the Guere tribe.



By Ronald J. Bushwell
Historical Expert