It's not every day that you come across a utensil made for eating a person -- even for an oddities shop owner.
But when the folks who run Loved To Death, a San Francisco curio shop -- specializing in medical and biological oddities, historical curiosities, and taxidermy dioramas -- met Stefanos, a spiritual teacher who came in the store with an honest-to-goodness cannibal fork, they had to bite.
"This is just some of the stuff my family had laying around, but I don't eat people so it just doesn't seem like something I want to have," Stefanos explained.
The fork is nearly a foot long and comes from the Fiji Islands, whose natives have been known to engage in cannibalism from time to time over the centuries, according to salesperson Wednesday Mourning, who, along with Loved To Death owner Audra Kunkle, stars on "Oddities San Francisco," debuting June 23 on the Science Channel.
"Someone would come and kill someone from [one] tribe and [the other] would go and retaliate and kill and eat the other person," Mourning said. "It's kind of like a trade of souls and flesh."
Stefanos chewed on this for a moment before spitting out: "It's not something I ever used it for."
Mourning said that while cannibalism was popular in certain tribes across history, human flesh isn't the healthiest food one can eat.
"Some rare neuro-degenerative disorders called prion diseases can be spread eating contaminated human flesh," she said.
Kunkle was hungry for a different kind of knowledge: Figuring out why Stefanos' parents gave him the cannibal fork in the first place.
"Well, it may sound a little odd, but I actually do drink human blood," he said. "I do enjoy the taste and the texture."
Blood, like flesh, can be bloody awful for one's diet, Mourning said.
"Ingesting too much blood can be toxic because it's very rich, and humans have problems excreting excess iron that can lead to a liver swelling disease called hemochromotosis," she explained.
At the moment, Stefanos was more interested in green money than red blood so he sold the cannibal fork to Kunkle for $150, and some might say he made a real killing.
Loved To Death specializes in bizarre taxidermied creatures. Check out their gallery below.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more