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Human Cuisine Paperback – May 31, 2008
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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.Read more ›