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 timeout.com
, 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!