This post contains content that some readers may find disturbing.
A Nigerian restaurant has been shut down after police discovered human meat being served to customers, the Daily Mail is reporting.
However, Eater writer Lucas Peterson has done some digging and determined this story may be a year or two old. It also may originally have come from a disputed source, so it’s very possible that what you’re reading about is either old news, a hoax, or both.
Regardless, as the Daily Mail reports, police in the Nigerian city of Anambra were alerted to shenanigans going on inside a local hotel and restaurant. Area residents were suspicious about “strange activities” in the hotel, says one resident, who asked not to be named.
“I am not surprised at the shocking revelation. Every time I went to the market, I observed strange activities going on in the hotel. People who were never cleanly dressed and who looked a bit strange made their way in and out of the hotel, making me very suspicious of their activities.”
When Nigerian police raided the restaurant, what they found was disturbing: not just human meat, but also human heads, some still bleeding, with the blood being drained into plastic bags. Police also reported finding grenades, automatic weapons, and cell phones, according to News Corp Australia.
At least one person — a priest — claims to have inadvertently eaten human meat at the restaurant. The unidentified cleric says that he was eating at the restaurant and was shocked to find that his bill was 700 Naira — or about $3.50 at current exchange rates. That doesn’t sound like much, but in Nigeria, tens of millions of people subsist on less than $1 per day.
“The attendant noticed my reaction and told me it was the small piece of meat I had eaten that made the bill scale that high. I did not know I had been served with human meat, and that it was that expensive.”
In case you’re wondering what human meat tastes like, Slate writer Brial Palmer has got you covered. No, Palmer didn’t try human meat himself; rather, he dug up an old journal from adventurer William Buehler Seabrook, who claims to have tried it.
“It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal.”
However, Palmer notes that Seabrook’s account of the circumstances that led him to try human meat has some holes in it, so he could have been lying. Some reports of the taste of human meat have come from madmen, and thus are unreliable. Other reports, from cannibals, are all over the place, alternately describing it as tough, tender, bitter, sweet, and so on. So it’s likely we’ll never know what human meat tastes like — not that that’s a bad thing.
Ten people were arrested at the Nigerian restaurant that served human meat.
[Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Africa Studio]