Hufu is a “healthy human flesh alternative,” a plant-based meat product developed for vegan cannibals.
Hufu was advertized online between 2005 and 2006. The product was said to carry the taste and texture of human flesh but it was made out of tofu.
Mark Nuckols, the founder and CEO of Hufu, thought up the concept whilst eating a tofurkey sandwich and reading “Good To Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture,” a book about humankind’s food habits and cannibalism.
Hufu was marketed toward “cannibals who want to quit.” At the time, its website said Hufu is “a great convenience food for cannibals. No more Friday night hunting raids! Stay home and enjoy the good healthy taste of Hufu.”
The tofu product was also marketed toward anthropology students studying cannibalism and those wanting to give cannibalism a go without actually having to give cannibalism a go.
In an interview on The Daily Show, Nuckols explained, “I think that a lot of the pleasure of eating the Hufu product is imagining you’re eating human flesh. For that moment, you can join the fraternity of cannibals… If you really want to come as close as possible to the experience of cannibalism, Hufu is your best option.”
‘Taste and Texture of Beef’
As well as being a place to purchase the tofu meat, the Hufu website featured Hufu recipes, merchandise, and information about famous cannibals. In an interview with The Standford Daily, Nuckols said the website was “designed to provoke people and get a reaction from them.”
The product’s fanbase was largely vegetarian, Nuckols told the publication. “I bet you a real Fijian headhunter would enjoy Hufu,” he added.
The product was difficult to create since Nuckols had never tasted human meat himself. The flavoring was mastered by research — specifically, descriptions from cannibals in anthropology books — and countless hours of experimentation.
The website described the end result: “If you’ve never had human flesh before, think of the taste and texture of beef, except a little sweeter in taste and a little softer in texture.”
Nuckols closed down the Hufu website in June 2006, explaining that it was expensive to run and that “the world has moved on past Hufu.” Guess plain old tofu will have to do for now.