Mmm ... placenta puree, courtesy of our cook and C4

PARENTS invited 20 of their friends to feast on the afterbirth of their child for a fly-on-the-wall Channel 4 cookery show, to be screened early next month, writes Vanessa Thorpe.

The rich dish of "placenta pate" - served on homemade focaccia bread - was the centrepiece of a buffet spread and was filmed for the TV Dinners series.

The afterbirth, which had been frozen, was cooked by a close friend of the family six weeks after the mother, 20-year-old Rosie, gave birth to her first child.

"We are always recycling things in this house so it was quite appropriate," said Rosie's mother Mary, 42. "We thought it had to be fabulous if it had just made my grandson.

"At the party we had a toast and then passed the dish around and asked people if they would like to share in our gene pool.

"We realised that some people might not like to try it, but in the end there was only one person who didn't - the cook's daughter in fact, who is a vegetarian anyway.

"Now I think placenta should be treated as a rare delicacy. And having tasted it, I am surprised there isn't a black market in it."

The pate went down particularly well with the baby's father, Lee, who had 14 helpings.

"It tasted like a Mediterranean beef dish," he said.

The mother herself was a little more circumspect. "It was quite scary and a bit hard to come to terms with at first," she said, "but serving the placenta will be a family tradition now. Perhaps without the film crew there though."

The dish was conceived with help from the show's presenter, Independent on Sunday food critic Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

"The raw placenta had an interesting spongy texture not unlike tripe, although it was denser and meatier," he said.

"Sue, who cooked the dish with me, was great and they were a lovely, close family. The party was just right for our programme because it's about the culture of food and the different ways we share it."

In the kitchen the duo flash-fried strips of the placenta with shallots and blended two thirds into a puree. The rest was flambeed in brandy and then sage and lime juice were added.

"I had never cooked a piece of human flesh before and of course there are certain taboos I had to think through," said Sue.

"But it was a great honour to be asked and in the end we treated it as if it was a piece of offal. It was quite like venison pate. Quite gamey, but without a long aftertaste. I was stunned by how palatable it was.

"I would be hard put to cook anything as exotic ever again," she added.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
music

News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
i100
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Security Advisor – Permanent – Surrey - £60k-£70k

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

MI Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – £25k-£35k

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Geography Teacher

£100 - £160 per day + mileage and expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: This out...

KS2 supply teacher

£80 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting fo...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album