I’d scream three times too

escaping mouse found here

According to Mary Roach’s book Stiff, there is a famous Chinese recipe called Scream Three Times, in which newborn mice are taken from their mothers (first scream), dropped in a hot fry pot (second scream) and eaten (third scream).

image found here

However, this is not the oddest Chinese dish she writes about.

“Key Ray Chong describes a historical phenomenon wherein children, most often daughters-in-law, were obliged to demonstrate filial piety to ailing parents, most often mothers-in-law, by hacking off a piece of themselves and preparing it as a restorative elixir.

image by Hu Ming found here

Chong presents evidence in the form of a list, each entry detailing the source of the information, the donor, the beneficiary, the body part removed and the type of dish prepared from it.

In what may well be the earliest documented case of stomach reduction, one enterprising son presented his father with “lard of left waist”. He also cites a Taiwan News story from May 1987 in which a daughter cuts off a piece of her thigh to cook up a cure for her ailing mother.

image by Alex Prager found here

While researching this, I located a related article about cannibalism in contemporary China. Due to its extremely disturbing content I haven’t linked to it here but it’s easy to find via a google search on “cannibalism + China”

1870 engraving found here

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39 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We hear mice screaming quite often at the castle, usually as Scabbers begins his nocturnal activities.

    Hu Ming is wonderful, so is that site.

    The King

    • Yes, I love the painting “The Enemy is Coming and I Forgot to Wear Underwear Again”

      Story of my life 😉

      • I think you misspelt Enemy!

        The King

      • oh hardy har har

  2. I’ve heard some pretty gnarly cannibalism stories from right here in the Deep South. Funny enough, there are no laws against cannibalism in America (and many other Western countries, from what I understand). How you get your meat is another story…

    • I’ve heard that we humans taste like chicken…..

      • i heard we taste like pig, which is why the cannibals in New Guinea referred to human as “Long Pig.”

      • I’ve heard that we taste like what chicken tastes like to a pig.

  3. Euuuuhhhhh. You’ve got your eye on my rescued rabbit like Lulu haven’t you???

    • No way! I used to be a rabbit owner once too. Love your new site Ange, it looks wonderful.

  4. That daughter-in-law phenomenon gives new (disturbing) meaning to the expression, “You want a piece of me?”

  5. I think I’ll just have some bread and cheese for lunch today …. oooo, that could attract mice which would sort out dinner later …..

  6. “Gut Fat En Croute”… “Ass Cheek Alfredo”… Ummm… Nope. Not happening in my world…

  7. The hot pot special just got hotter thanks to Hu Ming’s revolutionary dope fiends. Awesome artwork on Pulptoon, Nurse.

  8. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but I have been told that in some cultures the placenta of a new born is saved to be eaten (placentophagy?) at a later celebration, possibly on the child’s first birthday. Friends and family are invited around to partake. I’m all for trying new culinary experiences but…..

    • I don’t think people wait for the first birthday, it’s often cooked pretty much straight away. I had a good look at my son’s placenta but it reminded me of liver, a meat of which I am not overly fond.

  9. The comment you left yesterday is showing up as #1 on the list! Didn’t end up in spam.

  10. Well if they can sell breast milk cheese why not have a little mice milk for sale too.

    • you need very small fingers and a delicate touch.

      • I would qualify but I’m not sure I want the job

  11. Hmmm… pretty disturbing. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to eat parts of another human…

  12. Ha, for my mother in law….I’d have the perfect condiment.

  13. I’m amazed. I had no idea about the motherinlaw thing. But all the mouse as food talk reminds me of Farley Mowat’s experiment related in hysterical (really) detail in his book “Never Cry Wolf”. The burden of his experiment was an attempt to prove that a large carnivore could actually subsist successfully on a diet of mice, as he noticed that the wolf pack he was observing seemed to rely mostly on catching mice for their dietary requirements. As he was the only experimental animal available, he tested the hypothesis on himself, the upshot of the study was he discovered that it was important to eat the mice WHOLE, as if you skinned and gutted them you lost a large portion of their nutritional content.

    Well worth reading this book, by the way.

    • I’d never heard of him before so I wiki’d him – he sounds fascinating, thanks for the tip.

  14. A) Hu’s butts seem a bit exagerated for being, um… but i like a good rump roast.
    B) that skeleton deal looks like a Waterhouse Hawkins. Hawkins was a bad-ass.
    C) i keep my collection of amputee photos right next to my collection of siamese twin photos, this Prager among them. i’m really not kidding. i also collect antique photos of people fishing and photos of women posing with guns. -i don’t know why. i hate guns.

    that is all.

    • It may well be a Hawkins, I don’t remember where I found it, so can’t give a credit or a link 😦

      I’ve got a couple of images you’d like, I’ll send them to you later….

  15. If the auld saying really is true “you are what you eat” then it’s true what some people say about me, I really am a tight c**t!

    • I’d be sweet and creamy if that were true

  16. I would willingly give up all my flab…fillial piety or not!

  17. I had not head of Stiff before you mentoined it a little while ago. It is next on my reading list

    • All of her books are excellent – check out Spook and Bonk as well!

  18. One of my many fetishes is amputee porn.

  19. Oh my darling, scream three times…

  20. I wonder, if you eat a Chinese person do you get hungry an hour later?

  21. Actually, I think cannibalism is illegal in the US. If I recall correctly, the survivors of the Donner party were tried for it, or perhaps for murder. Alferd Packer the the Colorado Cannibal was tried for murder. Maybe it’s not illegal if you eat the already dead as the soccer team in the Andes did.

    BTW, I never liked my MIL enough to give her a piece of my ass.

  22. Thank-you, NM. Because of this post, not only did I find out what filial piety is (an expression which, according to Google, everyone should know), I now know to stay away from any Asian restaurants where the main course is listed as being an “Ancient Chinese Secret…”

  23. They do some and eat some weird stuff in CHina

  24. I’m so glad that I have no mother in law. Phew!

  25. Are you serious? Are you really!


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