ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Sociology & Anthropology

Monkey Brains To Eat and How And Why

Updated on January 23, 2013

Monkey Brains and the Different Cultures of Why They Eat it and How!

I had never thought about this subject and when the thought did come up I decided to write a page about it. Along with all the different cultures that eat monkey brains and why they eat it as a special treat or as a normal meal, in their country. I personally am not fond of this or have even eat it. There is information along with videos and pictures of monkey brain dishes. If you are sensitive to the subject then maybe this is not the page for you, but there is interesting reading, videos and pics on here for you to get to know about the subject of monkey brains and the dishes that are made from the brains. Some cultures believe in luck, potency of vitality and many other beliefs! I do not believe in this personally and that is simply because I was raised differently than many cultures. I love monkeys and think they are wonderful animals which causes me not to ever try this dish as a treat or a main coarse meal. Some of the ways that different countries prepare the monkey brains is against everything I believe in. I don't want to see a live money being nailed to the center of my dinner table while I dig into it's head to eat. Nor do I want to pick out the live animal I am about to eat. To each his own I guess. Exposing the way this dish is prepared was a curiosity of mine and why, so I decided after researching the subject of monkey brains and the way people are eating this controversial dish. I wrote this to share what I have discovered about the monkey brain dish. I do apologize in advance if this page offends anyone and their culture or beliefs, it is not my intentions to do so. So if you are like me and just curious then please feel free to take a look at what goes on with monkeys and why some cultures find it a delicatessen. Thank you for stopping by to take a look. :)P

*knowledge is curiosity*

Please leave a note at the bottom of the web page and be heard by the people of your opinion! Also, if you liked the page and want me to be able to make more web pages for you to learn from and entertainment purposes then click the like button for Facebook, Pintrest, Squidoo or even tweet about it at the top or bottom of the page. This is so I can continue my work to inform the world! Have a great day and enjoy the web page!


That you may not know!

Monkey brain is a controversial food, often attributed to the Chinese, but also found in certain other countries. The practice of eating monkey brains has led to over-hunting, especially due to the unfounded belief that eating the monkeys' brain can cure impotence.

Live monkey brain was one of the items in the Manchu Han Imperial Feast as part of Imperial cuisine in Beijing during the Qing Dynasty. Paul Burrell, the former butler of Princess Diana, claims he was served monkey brains on banana leaves and coconut palms in one of their visits.

The Anyang tribe of Cameroon practiced a tradition in which a new tribal chief would consume the brain of a hunted gorilla while another senior member of the tribe would eat the heart.

It is not only humans who eat the brains of monkeys. Two species of chimpanzee are known to eat the brains of monkeys which provide fat in their diet.

talk about eating monkey brains

eating the brains

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong


Consuming the brain and other nerve tissue of animals is not without risks. Besides the high fat content of brains, brain consumption can also result in contracting fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies such as Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other prion diseases in humans and mad cow disease in cattle.

Might need insurance if you do eat it!!

(ahh, they are cute!)

Monkey Brain Dish

Monkey Brain Dish
Monkey Brain Dish


That the eating of the brains from living monkeys is part of some restaurants menu, is one well-known example of an urban legend.

There are some fictional works that use this legend. Serving monkey brains was staged in the 1978 Mondo film Faces of Death, in which a scene shows a group of people eating the dish in this manner. Several books also include similar descriptions. In the book Born Red, A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution author Gao Yuan describes looking inside restaurant windows of Guangzhou that "offered the famous monkey brains, served at a special table that locked the monkey's head in place; the waiter would open the skull and the diners would eat while the body wriggled under the table." Maxine Hong Kingston's book The Woman Warrior also contains a description of a monkey feast including the special table; Kingston attributes the description to her mother. The Attic: Memoir of a Chinese Landlord's Son is a 1998 memoir of life in Communist China by Guanlong Cao, in which the author describes the eating of live monkey brains. Also, in Tama Janowitz's collection of stories; Slaves of New York, a character describes a dinner experience in which his fellow diners ate fresh monkey brains whilst on a business trip.

Monkey brain cuisine is also prevalent in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Thanks to Wikipedia

Monkey Brain v.s. Lamb Brain

Is there a difference in taste?

Is there a difference in the taste of different types of brains or is it all the same?

There are various different types of brains out there are offered to eat. The question is there a difference in taste? And why is it repulsive to eat monkey brain and not to eat another animals brain? It's all in peoples minds due to the fact that monkeys are cute and other animals are expected to be used to eat. I have not eaten any of them myself but here are some peoples opions of what they said it is like.

This is too cute to eat!!
This is too cute to eat!!

Monkey Brain Taste

People's Opinions

Here are a few people's opinions about wht their expieriences were when they had eaten monkey brain.

Kind of mushy and surprisingly salty. I tried to mask it with teriyaki sauce. (Anjel Rickman)

It has a metallic after taste that stays with you

even after chugging Martel.

Each monkey was live in a small

wooden box with it's shaved head sticking out. Each of us received a

hammer, knife, and large spoon (tablespoon?). We looked at the monkeys

and they looked at us. I ordered two more rounds of drinks for a

chaser, then told the owner to take the monkeys to the kitchen, and

bring them back with the tops of their heads removed. The owner said

that was not the custom, but he did it anyway. Drunk, and with two

Martel cognac's in hand I ate two big spoonfuls of gelatinous ooze.



Lamb Brain Taste

People's Experiences

Everything I have read has said that the taste is similar to any other type of brain if you can believe that. Yuck is what I say. Don't understand how people can eat this stuff but it seems to be a dish that I could not ever bring myself to try.

Pick a book

A Combined MRI and Histology Atlas of the Rhesus Monkey Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates
A Combined MRI and Histology Atlas of the Rhesus Monkey Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates

This atlas maps the detailed architectonic subdivisions of the cortical and subcortical areas in the macaque monkey brain using high-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) images and the corresponding histology sections in the same animal. This book presents the detailed mapping of the architectonic areas in the horizontal plane of sections with reference to the MRI that has not been reported previously in macaque monkeys. In the second part of the atlas, the coronal plane is presented using the same technique. A third part shows the quick identification of several important cortical and subcortical areas (around 30 areas) in horizontal, coronal and sagittal MR images. This atlas is unlike anything else available as it includes and compares each section to imaging data. This is a significant progress, as the vast majority of research in the field now routinely work with fMRI images. · Provides the first combined MRI and Histology maps of the cortical and subcortical areas of any non-human primate species· Shows the first detailed delineations of the cortical and subcortical areas in both horizontal and coronal planes in the same animal using five different staining methods· Illustrates the entire dorsoventral extent of the left hemisphere in 47 horizontal MRI and photomicrographs matched with 47 detailed diagrams (Chapter 3) · Presents the full rostrocaudal extent of the right hemisphere in 76 coronal MRI and photomicrographs, and 76 corresponding drawings (Chapter 4)· Illustrates the selected cortical and subcortical areas in horizontal, coronal and sagittal MRI planes (Chapter 5)· Provides the sterotaxic grid derived from the in-vivo MR image· Likely to become a standard reference for anatomical, physiological, and functional imaging studies in primates (fMRI, PET and MEG)

Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Explains Cloning, Blouse Monsters, Voting Machines, Romance, Monkey G ods, How to Avoid Being Mistaken for a Rodent, and More
Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Explains Cloning, Blouse Monsters, Voting Machines, Romance, Monkey G ods, How to Avoid Being Mistaken for a Rodent, and More

Everyone knows Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, as the king of workplace humor. His insights into the crazy world of business have long been on display in his hugely popular comic strip and bestselling books like The Dilbert Principle. But thereâs much more to life than work, and it turns out that the man behind Dogbert and the Pointy-Haired Boss has an equally outrageous take on life outside the cubicle. Adams ventures into uncharted territory in this collection of more than 150 short piecesâon everything from lunar real estate to serial killers, not to mention politics, religion, dating, underwear, alien life, and the menace of car singing. He isnât afraid to confront the most pressing questions of our day, such as the pros and cons of toothpaste smuggling, why kangaroos donât drive cars, and whether Jesus would approve of your second iPod.

Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Ignores Helpful Advice
Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Ignores Helpful Advice

Everyone knows Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, as the king of workplace humor. But why should a humorist stick to the workplace when there are so many other great subjects to explore? Despite some fans who wish he would a oeStick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!a Adams now offers more than 150 short pieces on every slice of human existence, from airport fiascos to wedding planning, from his doughnut theory of the universe to the menace of car singing.

Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction
Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction

Cyberpunk, sci-fi and erotica all meld together in this collection of cutting-edge short stories. The authors tend towards near-zero emotional chill, stunned urbanity and a shiny kind of violence.


Popular Culture

Besides Faces of Death, several films have featured the eating of monkey brains.

* Il Paese del sesso selvaggio directed by Umberto Lenzi (1972, also known as The Man from the Deep River) is an Italian cannibal film set in Burma that has a monkey brain scene.

* In Cannibal Holocaust (1980). A tribesman slices off a monkey's face and proceeds to eat the brains.

* In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), chilled monkey brains are served as a dessert in a scene set in India. Hindus revere monkeys due to mythological character Hanuman in the epic Ramayana and a significant number of Hindus are lacto-vegetarians. The movie was banned in India for its "racist portrayal of Indians and overt imperialistic tendencies".

* In the 1985 film Clue dinner guests are served monkey brains, but they are not revealed as such until the end of the film. This provides a clue towards who killed the cook.

* Elsewhereless (1998) is a contemporary opera set in Africa that features a live monkey brain scene.

* In a Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin thinks that the stuffed bell peppers his mother serves for dinner are "monkey heads"(which in fact makes him more eager to eat them).

Many people of Indonesia enjoy the ceremonial feast of eating live monkey brain while the small monkey is restrained under the table. This technique was created by a famous Indonesian chef, Christophe Theissen. It has since been called the Theissen delicasse and can be enjoyed by those visitors with large pocketbooks.

Please leave a note at the bottom of the web page and be heard by the people of your opinion! Also, if you liked the page and want me to be able to make more for you to see then click the like button at the top of the page so I can continue my work! Have a great day and enjoy the web page!

Wanna leave a note?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      bro 2 years ago

      The only reason I found this was because a friend of mine told me that somewhere they aye monkey brains and i just think that that's inhumane. Ik most people eat cows but why woukd they east the brain? I didn't even eat the brain of a cow less likely a monkey.

    • profile image

      karma 3 years ago

      anonymous. You know what, those who eat monkey brains alive will actually get the karma they deserve. I do know someone who is suffering from weird illness like someone stabbing his brain everyday but no doctor could diagnose what is wrong with his head. He is suffering everyday now for the sins he committed. Who ever is into eating live animal brains, please STOP now ! You will regret it once your karma creditors come looking for you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I concur. Some humans can only gain empathy and compassion for other living beings through their own personal suffering. A real shame given the capacity for kindness and love we have.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @aesta1: monkey brain is a delicacy

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The notion of eating anything whit it lives is horrifying, especially primates because of how sentient they tend to be. I don't think cuteness is the reason for disgust in this case.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      After watching this, I think someone should skin these men alive, boil them and feed THEM to the monkeys. This is barbaric and primative, not mention borderlining on cannibalism (we ourselves are great apes). No one should be exploiting this in a positive manner. It's disgusting and I hope these tourists get the karma they deserve!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a better idea: monkeys should eat human brains! I would solve two problems: that of human overpopulation and that of monkey over-hunting! How good is that?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @sudokunut: Agreed

    • DeannaDiaz profile image

      DeannaDiaz 6 years ago

      I wonder if it makes you smarter...

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Zombies eat brains, the rest of us should probably stick to chicken. :)

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      i don't want to see anybody doing that. there is the chicken or duck, why monkey?

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      Fascinating but no thanks. Yuk!

    • MillBucks profile image

      MillBucks 6 years ago

      No thanks, but I have heard it's a delicacy in some countries.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      can eat monkey brain

    • profile image

      bfaz10 6 years ago

      I like the comparison between monkey brains and lamb brains, but frankly I would have to pass on both. Also, this lens made me think... Would Squidoo allow me to post my video of eating live squid? ;)

    • profile image

      SashaLovesYou 6 years ago

      @anonymous: You are so right. And what separates serial killers from these maniacs who eat animals while they are alive. Studies have shown that serial killers start out torturing animals from a young age. Their lack of sensitivity or empathy is a characteristic of most. The disgusting thing about this is not only the torture they impose on this helpless animal but the fact that they are so stupid they don't know primates share up to 97% of our DNA, so it is so close to cannibalism. Might as well put a human in the monkey's shoes and eat his/her while alive.

    • Tammylove profile image

      Tammylove 6 years ago

      Great lens 411 if ya ever wanted to know 'bout eating monkey brains! In the town where I grew up, they used to have an annual exotic food fair where they would make and eat all kinds of critters... I thought belonged only in the wild or a zoo...not on my dinner it's hard enough for me to eat strange parts (brain) of "normal" animals (cows)... and those guys on TV that now have shows about eating...bugs and other crazy stuff...I can barely stomach to watch...but live and let live I say ... one man's fav dish is another man's _______ (fill in the Good job on the lens.

    • nadjaiskeniskie profile image

      nadjaiskeniskie 6 years ago

      I was offered monkey brain whilst in Asia during the '80s - I found the idea fairly gross. A year later I was offered lambs brain whilst in Europe and had no problems trying it. I wonder if there is any difference in taste between lambs brain and monkey brain?.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      can ppl eat monkey brain

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @The Goblins Den: ya

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @audioguidemalaysia: I sold a car to a man from China and while we were waiting for the paper work he was telling me about restaurants in China that have the center cut out. A monkey with part of the skull remover head is clamped in that hole so that the raw brain is exposed and every on at the table takes a portion of the monkey's brain. It is supposed to preserve the mental functions of old people to eat live monkey brain.

    • profile image

      The Goblins Den 8 years ago

      Monkey brains, eh? Funny, yet disturbing at the same time. Now that's something I can relate to! Haha.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      OMG!!!!! This is screaming for a Hey Monkeybrain debate ... nope, I will not eat some poor monkey's brains. ACK!

    • profile image

      totally_radically_awesome 7 years ago

      Yeah I would not if I was me to be daring to try that any time soon. God ew. No offense to people who do eat this stuff though, I am trying to be culturally tolerant. Maybe it doesn't kill the people who've been eating brains all their lives, it just for some reason reminds me of zombies that aren't real.

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      May all the monkey be safe and happy, I'm sick of people who taste monkey brain.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It is gross. Can't keep reading.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I really don't know how people eat such things. Monkey brain looks disgusting to me.

      Henry - spider monkeys

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 7 years ago from Canada

      Oh so sad...there are so many things in this world that really need to stop. You have done an excellent job on this very controversial article.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is cruel and horrifying. I heard about this today from a co-worker who has actually seen this. I can't imagine what sick poor excuse for a human would do this or think it's ok or a tradition. I say we go to these restaurants and put those people in a gage and do that to them. Those poor babies look so scared : (

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      'Ah how cute,' what would be more entertaining is seeing you tied up in a cage for nasty experiments you sick bastard.

      Some people think they are tough because they can make an animal bleed, because they can be cruel and no one can stop them. This is the same mentality as a child molestor and rapist.

      You're not tough, you're weak, impotent pieces of shit that would go down with one punch.

    • profile image

      icunygps 7 years ago

      Pretty Nasty. I'd rather eat at restaurants in hackensack

    • profile image

      audioguidemalaysia 7 years ago

      Interesting lense. I am from Ipoh, and since young I've heard so many stories where you can find monkey brain in some obscure restaurant in Ipoh. No one has ever actually seen or tried it. Perhaps just an urban legend. Audio Guide Malaysia

    • Beejorn profile image

      Beejorn 8 years ago

      I once ate it.....did not know until after I tasted it.....the thought kills it somehow

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow... Good lens!

      monkey crib bedding

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      The way they are killed is inhumane and a perfect form of cruelty to animals. I don't know what runs through some people's heads but somehow they think it is okay to eat animals while they're still alive. Absolutely despicable. I wonder how these people would feel to be eaten alive. Probably wouldn't feel too good... Monkeys feel pain the same as we do.

    • spunkyduckling profile image

      spunkyduckling 8 years ago

      I never knew this! But thanks for sharing. Ew..I don't think I could ever eat this stuff..looks like worms. Hmm.. I wonder if my friend who loves sushi would be willing to try the monkey brain sushi? One way to find out! I'll ask! I'm sure going to be labeled as crazy for asking though.

    • mistyblue75605 lm profile image

      mistyblue75605 lm 8 years ago

      Me either thanks for stopping by!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      just not for me.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""