For several hours on 4 October, the burgers were offered, free of charge, at Narinkkatori Square in the city centre to anyone interested, with clear prior notice being given about “the peculiar taste”.
However local news outlet Yle had revealed earlier that the serving of these burgers was a performance organised by London chef Tom Wolfe as a promotion for the ninth-season premiere of The Walking Dead TV series.
In order to make the meat supposedly taste like human flesh, Wolfe had studied descriptions left by people who had actually eaten humans. In particular, he read the notes of William Seabrook, an American explorer and journalist, who had admitted eating human meat during his journey to West Africa, where he spent some time with a cannibal tribe.
In his books, Seabrook compared the taste of the human meat to the taste of veal. Other infamous cannibals, meanwhile, have claimed it tastes more like chicken or tuna.
Wolfe declined to comment on what meat he used to achieve the burgers’ particular flavour when asked by GlobalMeatNews.
Not the first time
However, this is not the first time ‘human flesh’ burgers have been cooked in order to promote The Walking Dead TV series – a post-apocalypse franchise, in which zombies shamble towards living humans to eat them. A similar promotion took place in London in 2014, organised by the London Mess restaurant.
In that case, however, the restaurant posted in advance on its Facebook page a precise recipe of the burger patty claimed to taste like human beings. It contained 40% pork mince, 40% veal mince, and 20% minced bone marrow, with a suggestion to cook it in the oven for 6 minutes – or more for those “who like human flesh well done”.
The London Mess reportedly also studied reports from cannibals, who had attempted to explain what human flesh tasted like.
Low nutritional value
Meanwhile, this year, researchers from Britain, Tanzania and Zimbabwe discovered that the calorie intake from a human cannibal’s diet was significantly lower than from “most other traditional meat diets”. The scientists have been awarded with the Ig Nobel Prize in the nutrition category for their findings.