An Intentional Cannibal

There's an old urban legend, which folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand refers to as 'The Accidental Cannibals,' about people who accidentally eat the cremated remains of a loved one:

the story circulated about how postwar food packages from the United States led to a gruesome confusion. When one package arrived containing an unlabeled dark powder, people assumed it was some kind of instant soup or drink, or perhaps a condiment. Only after most of the powder had been consumed did a letter from the United States arrive explaining that the powder was the ashes of their emigrant grandmother who had died during the war and who wanted her remains returned to Romanian soil...

A recent version of the legend describes the cremains of a relative shipped home from Australia to England and mixed there into the Christmas pudding. Half the pudding has been consumed by the time the letter of explanation anives.

In a case of urban-legend-becomes-real-life, performance artist Eva Margarita has announced that she'll be mixing the cremated remains of her father into three different entrees and then eating them. She'll be doing this "to not only honor his spirit but to show how communities pass on knowledge through a practice in eating and conjuring with one another."

Her performance will be broadcast live on the Internet. It's happening today (Sep 23, 2020), from 8 AM to 8 PM (eastern time).

In an interview on, Margarita offers some details about how she'll prepare her father's cremains:

I'm taking just the bone pieces. I'm grinding them down in a molcajete, or a mortar and pestle, and then I'm adding them into the food. I'm grinding them down in a metaphorical sense to help grind down the body and flesh, but also it's almost to subvert the grinding that we do in real life, and all the beating that we've taken throughout, but now it's done out of love.

Thanks to Gerald Sacks!

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 23, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Cannibalism, Food, Performance Art

The Jesus Tortilla

Oct 5, 1977: Maria Rubio was preparing a tortilla in a skillet in her home in Lake Arthur, New Mexico. When she looked down, she realized that a burn mark on the tortilla resembled the face of Jesus.

The Rubio family created a small shrine where they displayed the "Jesus tortilla". Over the years, tens of thousands of people came to see it. Many of the pilgrims believed that the tortilla had the power to heal.

Maria Rubio with tortilla - 1978

Maria Rubio's daughter, Angelica, grew up to become a New Mexico state senator, and she kept a blog where she discussed her experiences with the holy tortilla. She also wrote an article on about it.

The Jesus Tortilla - source:

According to Roadside America: "In late 2005, Mrs. Rubio's granddaughter took the Miracle Tortilla into school for Show and Tell, and it was dropped and broken! The shed shrine has been closed and the remains retired to a drawer in the Rubio's home."

Albuquerque Journal - Dec 22, 1987

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 21, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Religion, 1970s

Ice Cream for Small Plants

Authored by Etta Howes Handy and published in 1937 by The Hotel Monthly Press.

Of course she means manufacturing plants, but I prefer to imagine people feeding ice cream to their house plants.

Amazon link

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 13, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Books

Follies of the Madmen #487

This impossible freakish dog is a true representative of the species, and thus can be a fine judge of the sponsor's food.

Plus, cats are jealous of both dog food and cigarettes.

Ad source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 06, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Business, Advertising, Food, Cats, Dogs, 1950s

Potato Ice Cream

Idaho farmer Alan Reed invented Potato Ice Cream in the mid-1980s. This wasn't potato-flavored ice cream. Instead, it was ice cream that included potatoes (in addition to dairy) as an ingredient. The advantage of this was that the potatoes sweetened the ice cream, eliminating the need to add sugar. The result was a lower-calorie, sugar-free ice cream. Reed claimed it tasted as good as regular ice cream.

However, Reed had trouble getting his potato ice cream distributed, so he sold the formula and marketing rights in 1988 to businessmen Rich Davis and James McFrederick. I assume (because I've never seen potato ice cream in a store) that they didn't manage to make a go of it either. The fact that there were better (or cheaper) sugar substitutes probably doomed Potato Ice Cream.

Reed is still operating his dairy farm and selling ice cream. But his website makes no mention at all of potatoes.

However, I don't think he's entirely given up on the idea of using potatoes to sweeten dairy, because his chocolate milk contains potato flakes (if you look closely at the ingredients). And this chocolate milk is sold in the gift shop of the Idaho Potato Museum.

San Francisco Examiner -Dec 6, 1987

Longview Daily News - Nov 16, 1990

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 01, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, 1980s


As the Wikipedia page tells us:

Cottolene was a brand of shortening made of beef suet and cottonseed oil

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 07, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust

Cooking with God

Poe's Law, loosely paraphrased, states that it can be very difficult to tell the difference between parodies of extreme beliefs and sincere expressions of those beliefs.

Confusion of this kind occurred with the 1976 cookbook Cooking With God. The authors, Lori David and Robert Robb, intended it to be, in all seriousness, a religious-themed cookbook. But due to the title, many people apparently assumed it was some kind of joke.

Recipes included Manna Honey Bread, Oasis Stuffed Eggs, Caravan Sweet Potatoes, and Eggs Bathsheba.

If you want a copy to add to your collection of weird cookbooks, you can pick one up used on Amazon for $6.95.

Fort Worth Star Telegram - Mar 16, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 05, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Religion, Books

Corn Vest

Rick Atkinson, Jr. of Canton, Georgia recently received a patent for a vest designed to hold "bulk product," such as corn. The corn goes in pockets at the top of the vest, and can then be dispensed from pockets at the bottom.

Atkinson explains that he designed the vest for hunters who "may carry corn, soybeans, grains, and/or other bulk products to attract deer, hogs, turkey, bear, and/or other wild game." Instead of carrying large bags of corn around, they can simply wear the corn and dispense it as they walk around.

I imagine this could also be useful for feeding pigeons in the park.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 23, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Fashion, Food, Inventions

Urine Bread 2.0

Eight years ago, I posted about how prisoners held in a Japanese interment camp during World War II learned how to make bread using urine instead of yeast.

Now I see that urine bread, of a kind, is back in the news. From

French engineer Louise Raguet baked 'Boucle d'Or' — Goldilocks bread — using wheat fertilized in urine gathered from female urinals in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris.

Raguet hopes to "break taboos over excrement" and create a more sustainable food and farming system that makes use of human refuse, while cutting farming costs and boosting crop yields.

More info, in French, here (pdf).

The toilets in which the urine was collected

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 22, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Food, Body Fluids, Excrement

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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