With carefully chosen accompaniments, that is. If I served the wrong wine with human flesh, well, I’d just DIE!
Have you seen The Silence of the Lambs? I have not, although I am familiar with the real-life inspirations Eddie Gein and Albert Fish (do not google them, seriously. No, trust me). Apparently Hannibal Lecter suggests Chianti and fava beans to go with the liver, and I’m just tired enough of hearing this that I! Must! Speak! Up!
Chianti, yes. Fava beans, no.
I’m not talking out of my toque here: I’ve surveyed professional winemakers of my acquaintance and studied the literature:
This Chilean/Israeli/Danish artist did not specify what wine he served at the dinner party where he also served meatballs made of … himself. But still, we can assume a robust Chilean red would work best (I mean, have you tried Aquavit? Have you put it in your mouth???)
The Democratic Underground suggests that Chianti is overpowering, and a good dry Riesling is the right accompaniment, although this could reflect the fact that democrats are very often spend their lives in captivity, penned in tiny cubicles and behind espresso machines and the ticket-taking window of indie theatres and are thus analogous to veal. And they die young: just ask the Kennedys.
In light of the fact that Japan’s (why is it always Japan? Eh?) flesh-tasting robot puts human flesh (although maybe only fingers…insert anthropomorphic musing about why we call them “chicken fingers” etc here…also, what part of the chicken is the “nugget” anyway? No, don’t go there) in the same category as prosciutto and bacon, we should go with these recommendations from the Sideways Wine Club and drink Pinot Noir or (yes) Chianti, or possibly a Syrah, Rhone or Zinfandel.
I had a sparkling Syrah once, and it was exactly like carbonated hemoglobin, so I think it would be perfect for any cannibal occasion. Indeed, bubbly of any kind lends a certain flair to an event that highlights its importance. After all, it’s not every day you eat human flesh. Presumably. Hufu for the vegetarians present, of course.
As you can see, my expert friends suggest Pinot Noir (but then, they MAKE Pinot Noir) along with Hermitage or Grenache. Seriously, the younger the flesh, the whiter and less hemoglobular the wine should be, so for me (ferinstance) you’d want something as rich and old as Anna Nicole Smith’s last husband.
Now, about those fava beans…
Fava Beans share, along with liver and king mackerel, a certain dry umami flavour which renders them quite redundant when served alongside one another. If I have something that tastes a certain way, you know, thanks, I don’t need something that tastes pretty much the same sitting right beside it masquerading as something different. Yes, wines should be chosen to complement and extend, rather than contrast with the meal, but they’re much less likely to actually taste the same as the entree.
As for choosing the meat, other than selecting a young person who’s been confined to a cubicle his entire working life, I have no advice except that if you are going to eat human liver, perhaps you don’t want to choose Russian. Theirs are pretty much used up.
So, the next time you’re serving cutlets à la Salome, remember this post and serve something appropriate. If you get it wrong, you’ll never live it down.