You Won’t Believe What Brains Really Taste Like

Photo courtesy The CW

If you become a zombie, you’re eventually going to have to eat some brains. And while takes on the zombie apocalypse have ranged from funny (Shaun of the Dead) to romantic (Warm Bodies) to terrifyingly popular (The Walking Dead), none of them have thought about things from the zombie perspective.

Until iZombie, that is.

Protagonist Liv Moore (say it out loud... ok, moving on) faces all the struggles one might expect after she becomes undead. But perhaps her biggest mountain to climb is that she doesn’t like brains. Like, really hates them actually. Her brainophobia leads her to cook them in ways ranging from creative (like adding them to Mexican hot chocolate) to depressingly mundane (pizza). Her go-to method, however, is to soak the brains in Sriracha, which is our go-to method for getting through just about any meal. (If only we had Sriracha when mom was trying to make broccoli happen.)

All this brain-eating led Slate to ask: "What’s it like to eat another human’s noggin?"

There are, surprisingly, multiple books on the subject.

Geoffrey Sanborn’s The Sign of the Cannibal says that brains are more liquid than solid — more for drinking than eating, technically. Sanborn quotes explorer George Von Langsdorff as saying that warriors from the Island of Nukahiwa in the early 1800s would “swallow the blood and brains on the spot,” after killing their enemies. Among the Cannibals says that more than one cannibal tribe have singled out brains as the tastiest part of our bodies. Meanwhile, author Christine Quigley writes that the people of the Melanesian Islands — some of them were cannibals into the early 1900s — called human brains a gourmet delicacy in her The Corpse: A History.

Slate polled biologists to find out just what those brains might taste like and found that the brains were not appreciably different than the brain of any other mammal.

That’s… comforting?

NYU biology and neuroscience professor Carol Shoskes Reiss — who has never eaten brains — said, “The essential constituents in terms of proteins and lipids and nucleic acids are essentially the same, irrespective of species.” So if you really must know, try the brain of another animal. Just don’t blame it on us.

Serious Eats
says that brains hold their shape despite their creamy consistency. After sampling, Serious Eats wrote that brains tasted, “animalistic,” “somewhat like a firm fish roe, though without the fishiness, of course.” That was another dish Liv tried on iZombie.

And Reddit, notoriously a reliable source, says that brains are similar in taste to eggs.

So next time you see a crowd of Walkers chasing after Rick Grimes and company, remember that they’re basically going for the zombie equivalent of bacon and eggs.
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