Two Dutch TV presenters will claim to be making broadcasting history today when they eat flesh surgically removed from each other's bodies in prime time.
The pre-recorded stunt, which one newspaper suggested could be an elaborate hoax, was pulled off by Valerio Zeno and Dennis Storm in a new science programme called Guinea Pigs.
"The idea of the show is to provide really simple answers to stupid questions such as 'can you shave with tomato sauce?' or 'can you drive blind?'," Storm said yesterday. "We also wanted to find out what human flesh tasted like."
The set was equipped with a chef, candelabra, white linen and wine.
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The presenters "dressed for dinner" and sat patiently as the chef sauteed a small piece of Storm's buttock and a chunk of Zeno's abdomen in a frying pan greased with sunflower oil. To ensure that the taste of cooked human flesh remained unadulterated, the chef insisted that salt, pepper and other condiments remained off the menu.
"We went to the butcher, the surgeon and the studio, then we looked at each other and just ate it," Storm said.
"Nothing is really that special when you're talking about the taste of meat but it's weird to look into the eyes of a friend when you are chewing on his belly."
Storm said it was worth having surgery to carry out the stunt. "It was just a few centimetres of meat and now I have a good story to tell about the scar."
Cannibalism is not a punishable offence under Dutch law.