Hughes and her husband, Doug, have come home with their newborn son after spending the night in the hospital. They sit on their couch, depleted, while the baby sleeps.
“I’m so glad we got it,” Doug says. “I was prepared to wrestle it from the nurse’s hands.”
“But I’m not eating it!” he quickly adds. “I’m just a passenger.”
Hughes describes her husband as an “adventurous eater,” but when they heard that a friend served his wife’s placenta jerky at a party, Doug said he thought it was “a bit much.”
“Are you sure?” asks Mayer. “I can save you a piece.”
“Maybe. Save some.”
Mayer takes a bit of dehydrated, cooked placenta she saved and ceremoniously places a portion in their open palms. The pieces are brown, shriveled, and brittle—like old shoe leather left out in the sun.
The new parents toast each other, giggle nervously, and begin to chew. The crunch is audible across the room, and they wince slightly at the sound.
“So, what do you think?” Mayer asks.
“It tastes like jerky,” Doug says. “Dry, gamy, bland jerky.”