Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Wall of Hufu

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2005 at 12:06 PM

So I went to this party last weekend. The party itself was uninteresting ֠underage college kids drinking Everclear and Kool-Aid out of plastic cups with swirly straws stuck in them, asking me questions like, "You work at the Scene? That's like, the free paper, right? The one with the guy who sold sex or whatever?" ֠but I showed up to say happy birthday and goodbye to this guy I knew in college who is moving away. While at the party, I noticed that one of my friends was wearing a t-shirt that said "Hufu: The Healthy Human Flesh Alternative" on it. "What's that?" I asked. "Oh, this guy at Dartmouth made it," she said, and I thought she meant the t-shirt. But I was wrong.

According to the News of the Weird that will run in tomorrow's paper:


Mark Nuckols, a business student at Dartmouth, has begun selling a tofu-like food, Hufu, that is flavored to resemble what he believes is the taste of human flesh. His target audience is those who already enjoy cooking with tofu, as well as any actual cannibals who might settle for artificiality in order to avoid legal problems and logistical hassles. Nuckols said he has never tasted human flesh but based his recipe on cannibals' reported descriptions of the flavor.
According to Nuckols, "We're not eating people, we're not encouraging people to eat people. We're promoting the idea of thinking about people eating people." What an admirable goal. If only I had been able to further man's quest to eat things that tasted like himself.

What I don't understand is where Nuckols found cannibals to describe the taste of human flesh to him. Sure, he can read descriptions in books, but how do you take a bite of tofu and say to yourself, "nope, not gamey enough," without knowing exactly what you're looking for? Did he travel to the These Guys Eat People wing of a maximum security prison? Fly to Fiji and shake hands with headhunter dignitaries? The official Hufu website claims that they carried out taste tests in the kitchen. How do you do a taste test for something you've never eaten? I don't think I'd know milk chocolate from semi-sweet if I hadn't eaten it before. And I don't buy this "tastes like chicken" crap. When I was little, my parents convinced me to eat a lot of random stuff by telling me it tasted like chicken. And you know what? Rattlesnake tastes nothing like chicken.

And exactly what part of the human are we talking about? Old humans or young humans? Different steaks have slightly different tastes and textures. Veal tastes totally different (or so I'm told; my ability to eat animals stops at the cute babies). Birds have white meat and dark meat. You might eat lamb, but unless you're a tavern wench in 1800s Britain, you probably stay away from mutton. Does all Hufu taste the same, or can you get different types?

There are so many questions, and so few answers on the Hufu website. I vow to get to the bottom of this story, just as long as I don't have to actually eat any of this crap.

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