The Foodie Blog

Raw Monkey Brains

Marmoset Baby Monkey in a Tree.
Marmoset Baby Monkey in a Tree.

This is disgusting primarily because of the very high risk of contracting fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other similar brain diseases. In parts of China, the monkey’s brain is eaten raw. While it is most likely an urban legend, some people claim that monkeys’ brains are, or were, eaten from the head of a live monkey.

Monkey Brains.
Monkey Brains.

The monkey’s head was supported by its neck in a bracket, two pieces of wood with a semicircular hole on each side such that when you put them together, they form a complete circle around the animal’s neck, allowing the head to be exposed above the plank. The hair around the head is shaven with a shaving razor. A small chisel and a hammer is used to quickly chisel a circle around the crown, and the top part of the skull is removed. A teaspoon is used to scoop up the brain, which is immediately eaten. This has to be done before the monkey dies.

Monkey with exposed brain taking his last selfie on his cell phone.
Monkey with exposed brain taking his last selfie on his cell phone.

Submitted by Getophe

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 27 Comments »

27 Comments on “Raw Monkey Brains”

  1. Pandora Says:

    Holy cow, it’s like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!

    Chilled Monkey brains!!!

  2. NakedTonyDanza Says:

    The urban legend (if it is such) is likely spawned from a “Faces of Death” video, which is the same as the description here. It’s been about 15 years since I watched it, but it looked pretty realistic to me at the time.

  3. jiraha Says:

    For real?! I think no matter how nutritious it may be, still not worth the gore and the disgust of eating such thing. It’s not like we become superhuman if we eat, right? I don’t see the point of eating!!

  4. wow Says:

    crazy. like for real. monkey brain can have several deadly diseses. DO NOT EAT!!!

  5. Kay Says:

    I recently saw a YouTube video with images of live monkeys in the above mentioned contraption. There were at least 4 different monkeys and 3 had their brains exposed but definitely appeared go still be alive. According to the video most people who order this dish don’t even eat it after all the torture they put the poor things through!

  6. Mimi Michalski Says:

    This is not an urban legend. I knew someone who ate in a restaurant there and actually partook of the “delicacy.”

  7. nyasia Says:

    this is cool, i respect what they do as i do with everyone else. Its cool to try different foods and this is one worth trying! haha.

  8. Rhonda Says:

    It is horrible to think of the torture these heartless humans. do to these poor harmless animals .its evil and i guess thats between those sick people and God .

  9. Dorothy Renee Henry Ross Says:

    It is a delicacy in Viet Nam.

  10. Liane Says:

    They. Should. Get. Shoot. For. That

  11. Sai Says:

    Its fucking shameful that the people of countries China, Taiwan, Japan that once were Buddist countries to indulge in such CRUEL practice. Anyone who wants to try that need to think once how it feels if man-eating people of Africa also try to cut them alive to eat their body parts.

  12. Dolly Says:

    My dad travelled in China and Japan on business a lot in the 70s and 80s. He claims to have seen this monkey brain dish being served and eaten in an exclusive restaurant in China. I’m unsure when the rumor of this was started, but I was told about this in the early 1980s.

  13. Phil Says:

    Any demi-human who partakes in this vile and despicable practice reaps the just rewards of pestillance and disease.

    May damnation follow them. I rejoice in the pain and destruction that befalls them, even to the tenth generation.

  14. Gina Says:

    Trying out this as a “cultural experience” will never be worth it in expense of this cruelty. Why can’t people at least be respectful of the animals that die to satisfy us. As a half Korean I am completely disgusted with the overconsumption of exotic animals in Asia. And also with the coronavirus going around right now, it angers me to know that it originated from live animal markets. What a complete waste of humanity.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Sai- Why do you think people in Africa are man eating? That is racist, stereotypical, and dumb. You don’t know anything you’re talking about- Buddhism says that to purify yourself for Nirvana, you must be good. Is it good to enforce stereotypes?

  16. Julie Says:

    As a suporter of animal rights this is insane these people are one of the worst. You might as well eat there own flesh they eat everything else.

  17. Dong Chi Says:

    China and Southeast Asia eats monkey brains. Not Asia. Not India. Indiana Jones should’ve been sued for that disgusting depiction that this occurred in India. It never occurred there. The history is in China and East Asia strictly. Not South Asia.

  18. joe mamam Says:

    Hey Sai,

    People in Japan don’t eat monkey brains. Chinese people do.
    And most Chinese people don’t.

  19. King Says:

    I don’t eat monkeys, but I like to torture and then kill them because there’s too many of these disgusting disease carrying monkeys in the world today. They are a pest and they destroy farms and peoples home!

  20. Barbara Stiffler Says:

    Why in the world is this allowed? This has to be painful for the monkey. People are ignorant! I pray they die the same way, and realize the pain they caused.

  21. Jang sung Says:

    Monkey meat is very nice.
    I hate foreigners who always have an opinion.
    We eat monkey like they do chicken.
    They are not protected animals.
    In my village there are foreigners for animal nco.
    They don’t know our laws and stay here for a holiday and send pictures home that they are protecting wildlife.
    They just drink all our alcohol…

  22. Bryan Hill Says:

    @Sai Often, monkey and dog is consumed not out of some “revenge” but rather out of the fact that such consumption of those organism are required in order to maintain proper survival.

    In other words, do you want to die or do you want to survive? If it is the latter choice, that is how you end up with monkey or dog consumption.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    While I do find this bizarre, and certainly not something I would ever partake in, its not all that different from what other cultures do. (I dont think the animals should be treated this way but pls hear me out)

    In America and a few other places, people eat lobster but in order for them to cook properly they must still be alive! This is very similar to what goes on with the monkeys and it seems rude to judge this sort of thing when other cultures do technically the same thing.

  24. JJ Says:

    Lots of ignorance and racism here. This depictions all started from the 1978 film “Faces of Death” which is complete FICTION. The director has acknowledged they used a fake monkey made of gelatin, and cauliflower to simulate the brains. There is absolutely no evidence that people anywhere eat a monkey’s brain while the monkey is still alive. The only real source is that in the 1600s, there are accounts of Manchu royalty eating (cooked) monkey brains. Today, eating monkey brain is illegal in China anyway (not because it was commonly practiced, but to stop ignorant Westerners from making ridiculous accusations). Nonetheless the myth has remained popular in western imagination, even though no one talks about the very real inhumane food practices that are or have recently been practiced in the West (for example, the ortolan bunting, which in France was historically drowned in Armagnac and then eaten whole). Stop perpetuating racist myths about Asian people to make yourself feel better. If you care about animal welfare at all, I hope you are vegan because the way farm animals are treated in the US and the “developed world” is disgustingly cruel.

  25. Westwrner Says:

    The Asians eating dogs/monkeys is one of the many reasons we regard ourselves in the west as superior humans as we regarded this as a barbaric almost subhuman behavior that needs to be eradicated in the world.

    No amount of affirmative action or racialist accusations will prevent the western people from looking down on “all” Asians until this practice stops.

  26. Spartacus Says:

    I saw live monkeys placed in such a block popped open and eaten live, in a VHS movie called “Shocking Asia”, that I rented from an independent video store, back in the 80’s. It was filled with the most shocking things I’ve ever seen. They were eating them at a sidewalk cafe on a very busy street. You can’t un-see stuff like that, it’s been 35 years since I saw that video.

  27. Can You Eat Monkey Brains? – Fallsgardencafe Says:

    […] The hair around the head is shaven with a shaving razor. A small chisel and a hammer is used to quickly chisel a circle around the crown, and the top part of the skull is removed. A teaspoon is used to scoop up the brain, which is immediately eaten. This has to be done before the monkey dies. via […]

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