So, a large family, called the Os family, open up a restaurant called “The FeedBag”. Built inside a repurposed banquet hall, guests can have all the finest, most luxurious cuts of meat available. Most of the meat there is made out of human flesh. The Os’s are a clan of backwards cannibals, hailing from the ruins of Portland. They made their way to Arizona, a place in which cannibals are often ignored. The Os’s take runaway slaves to be killed and eaten by Arizonans.

But, some people are not to keen on the idea of eating human flesh. The Os’s think cannibalism is great, and should be shared with the whole world, and so to introduce nervous newcomers to the wonders of cannibalism. So, they start trying to figure fire out a way to make “imitation” human flesh, which tastes as close to the real stuff as possible. What animals comes close enough to human flesh that it can be used it make an imitation version?

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    $\begingroup$ I always have a hard time differentiating between pig meat and human meat, sometimes I do ever have to double check the labels after having a meal. $\endgroup$
    – SJuan76
    Jun 23, 2018 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ Why is it that, allegedly, cannibal tribes used the phrase "long pig" to refer to their meat source? $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 23, 2018 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, Justin! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Worldbuilding Meta and The Sandbox (both of which require 5 rep to post on) useful. Have fun! $\endgroup$ Jun 23, 2018 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ as your question is posed, it is not about worldbuilding, just insight for a story and second, if they want human flesh without the ethical dilemma, just have that flesh cloned for alimentary purposes $\endgroup$ Jun 23, 2018 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ Completely on-topic, don't worry. The question is fine as is. However, this might sound stupid, but how is the meat prepared? I don't know what human meat tastes like, but I know, depending on how you prepare any other meat, not even the best cook in the world can tell them apart $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jun 23, 2018 at 22:00

2 Answers 2


According to the Smithsonian:

Both serial killers and Polynesian cannibals have described human as being most akin to pork.

This is the source of the phrase "long pork" to mean human flesh. It's supposed to be a translation of a Polynesian term.

  • $\begingroup$ As I understand it, the main flavor of meat comes from the different types of muscle fiber present in it, and pigs happen to have the most human-like musculature. (I think this is also why pig carcasses are used in testing e.g. ballistics, but I could be wrong.) $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jun 24, 2018 at 1:50
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    $\begingroup$ A lot of flavour also comes from the fat present. It's the reason why a lot of lean meats are said to taste like chicken, which is a well-known lean meat. So the pork could be cooked in human fat, which would not need to have the person killed (bought/stolen from liposuctinon?), to bring the taste closer to human. $\endgroup$
    – AntonH
    Jun 24, 2018 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ I was disabused about 'long pork' indicating humans taste like pork when it was suggested that 'pork' actually meant 'meat' in general. Polynesians not having many sources of meat. Mainly, pigs and, occasionally, other humans. The serial killers part I don't know about, but it may depend on how reliable serial killers are as taste testers. On the other hand, pigs and humans do have a lot of features in common, and flavour may be among them. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Jun 24, 2018 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ The cannibals of Oceania didn't consume other food animals than fish, fowl, and pigs, because there were none other available. Out of the three, pig meat is clearly most like human meat; but that doesn't mean it is the best match, given a wider choice. $\endgroup$
    – Ralf B
    Jul 30, 2021 at 10:15
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    $\begingroup$ Not a lot of people have eaten monkey, but it could be even closer. $\endgroup$
    – Echox
    Jul 30, 2021 at 12:22


Horse meat has pH closely matching human meat---more alkaline than veal, pork, etc., which affects the taste. It is tougher, but I suppose meat from young horses---the horse equivalent of veal---would be tender enough. Horse meat was not known in Polynesia, and most Western folk have never tried it---including presumably serial killers. That's why the best match they came up with was pork.

To make an even better match, the meat should be seasoned with a bit of sugar. Cannibals report that human meat has a sweetish flavor; also, that it foams while cooking, but that would not be visible to restaurant customers (and could easily be faked as needed).


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