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We Finally Know What Mads Mikkelsen Was Really Eating On Hannibal

The character Hannibal Lecter has been terrorizing and somehow fascinating audiences since the 1986 film "Manhunter" and more famously, 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs." Based on a series of novels created by Thomas Harris, Lecter is the cannibalistic serial killer viewers can't seem to get enough of, with several movie and TV show adaptations. In the franchise, law professionals often turn to Hannibal for his killer insight to help them catch other criminals.

The NBC series adaptation "Hannibal," in particular, had viewers a bit squeamish with its extremely realistic portrayal of the killer's meals. The series took a turn from other Hannibal Lecter adaptations in that it portrayed Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) more as a culinary expert rather than a wild cannibal. Since the show paid extreme attention to detail in Hannibal's cooking scenes, fans no longer have to wonder what the production team uses in place of human flesh.

Hannibal used animal meat and vegetables as stand-ins for human body parts

Of course, "Hannibal" did not use actual human flesh in its scenes, but rather animal portions that can be made to resemble people's body parts. In an interview with Business Insider, the show's food stylist, Janice Poon, described how she was able to come up with what will double as Hannibal's peculiar dishes.

"I can either rely on my feeble understanding of anatomy or I can ask Dr. Google what the dimensions are, what the skeletal structure is ... just the general appearance and then I think, okay, what in the grocery store looks like what I'm looking for," Poon told Business Insider. "It doesn't always have to be meat ... sometimes an eggplant will look like what you're looking for, like a wrist or something. Then you have to know the bone structure. It's got a tibia, but I need a fibula, or maybe it's the other way around."

While Poon had often used pork and cow products to resemble human meat, she also turned to less obvious ingredients such as tomato toast to mirror human lungs. While the show was running, Poon even wrote a blog detailing her processes for the series, which included recipes for fans to follow. Although "Hannibal" was sadly canceled in 2015 and Poon no longer runs her blog, she did turn her cannibal-inspired recipes into a cookbook titled "Feeding Hannibal: A Connoisseur's Cookbook."