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Human Cuisine [Paperback]

Ken Albala , Gary Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 31, 2008
There's something about the idea of munching on a nice leg o' man that makes everyone want to be a comedian. We use jokes to hide anxiety about touchy subjects, of course, but it's more than nervous laughter. People like to discuss eating people--once someone else brings up the subject. William Bueller Seabrook, a man who acquired more firsthand knowledge about the fundamental facts of cannibalism than most of the civilized people who talk about it, wrote about cannibals in 1931, 'Even aside from their delightful humorous aspect they are a highly interesting and wholly legitimate subject, whether for the adventurer or the learned anthropologist.'" There's no doubt about it--cannibalism is fascinating. The stories, essays, poetry and drama in this anthology reveal that cannibalism can also be disgusting, sometimes frightening, sometimes hysterically funny, sometimes touching--but always interesting (at least once you get past the gag reflex). Includes (untested) recipes.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (May 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419693913
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419693915
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,275,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Laughed. It's Okay! August 13, 2008
Format:Paperback
Human Cuisine, a reader
Edited by Ken Albala and Gary Allen

A review by Marty Martindale

The Greeks termed it "anthropophagy;" most of the rest of the world refers to it as "cannibalism." Yet, almost all of society practices denial when it comes to dining on people. Animals? No problem. People? A large problem!

Co-editors, Ken Albala, a professor of European history at the University of the Pacific and Gary Allen food writer and author, co-opted earlier on their compilation, The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of Food and Drink Industries in 2007. They term the book's Table of Contents, "Menu." Short biographies of each writer are found in a section titled, The Kitchen Staff.

Ken Albala, Gary Allen and Surge Publishing have graciously come up with a cannibalism platform for 21 writers, some scholars, others professionals, writers, practitioners and interested persons who have taken varying looks at the seemingly forbidden topic. In the collection, the reader will find storytelling, essays, poetry and drama at times taunting the reader, fascinating others. The topics conjure up clever, extenuating circumstances from weird amuse bouches to the tongue-in-cheek simplicity for some grizzly delicacies.

Ken Albala breaks the ice early with a quotation from the well-admired James Beard, who once said, "I believe that if I had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around."

Frequently, between the works of the different writers, both editors lighten things up with cannibalistic recipes, not too extreme and not tested. After the fascinating story, The Watchman's Secret," they intervene with recipes for Andes Mints, a layered affair of thinly-sliced soccer player and double mint chewing gum.
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