When something as adorable as The Mandalorian’s little green gremlin floats into our collective conscious, we find ourselves wading through an overwhelming flood of emotions. Some of us whisper that they would kill for the tiny baby of indeterminate origin and species. Others, that they would sacrifice themselves, dying for Baby Yoda in an act of selfless martyrdom. I have struggled with a different (and far more bizarre) desire.
I want to eat that fucking baby.
Two weeks ago my colleague Tom McKay noted on Twitter that he would eat Baby Yoda. “I don’t mean in a survival situation” he wrote. Almost immediately, my mind went to various, non-survival, Yoda-eating situations. Ones where a person might irreverently consume the little squib after a good meal—like a dessert. Which I don’t think is unreasonable! There’s something soft and not quite real about the creature that suggests gummies, ice cream, and other squishy confections.
I thought the image would eventually leave my brain, but I continued to ruminate on it. A lot.
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To be clear, this isn’t a vore thing. (That fandom-inspired kink centered on fantasies of just like… consuming a person whole.) Nor is it a sex thing. (It’s a goddamn baby, you monsters.) Something about the liddle nugget just left me feeling like it should be a dessert for my consumption. Curious to see if I was alone in this feeling, I reached out to some eating-Yoda-adjacent experts.
“That’s definitely having to do with our instinct to want to like eat up cute things,” baker and artist Natalie Sideserf told me over the phone. “You know like puppies? I get that same feeling.” Sideserf went viral on Instagram earlier this week with a Baby Yoda cake she designed. She also maintains a YouTube channel where she makes hyperrealistic cakes using modelling chocolate, taking requests from viewers. According to Sideserf, Baby Yoda requests came “pretty quickly” after the character was introduced during the November 12th premiere of The Mandalorian on Disney+.
Sideserf’s assertion that we wish to consume that which is too cute to exist is an interesting one. I’ve definitely looked at an adorable baby or puppy and thought “I could eat you up,” but not like I think about Baby Yoda. I ponder the texture of our little poosie woopsie Yoda-poo. The flavour. And that I think is different.
“i feel like you do just want to eat him,” said artist Mike Winkelmann, known online as beeple_crap, in an email. He seemed to be accusing me, and only me, of this unnatural urge. “i’m definitely on team ‘baby yoda should do the eating,’” he added, referencing a recent artwork depicting a triad of Yoditas consuming the raw corpse of a Hutt.
“I like taking things that are super cute and wholesome and fucking them up and making them do awful things,” Winkelmann wrote. “He also falls into the baby category and lately I’ve been doing all kinds of weird arse baby shit.” In addition to tiny savage Yodlings, Winkelmann has also done a piece where a Titan-esque Mickey Mouse prepares to consumer a newborn, giant baby Buzz Lightyear gestates in a large vat, and a monster wearing Pikachu’s face and clutching a pig faces off against men with guns.
Winkelmann’s attraction to the taboo seems closer to my personal desire to eat Baby Yoda than Sideserf’s suggestion. The urge feels deeply inappropriate—an assessment almost everyone I’ve talked to about this has affirmed. What’s curious is that while people are uniformly disgusted by the idea, they still have plenty of opinions about what Baby Yoda would taste like.
“he probably tastes a bit like turtle, but I’ve never actually tasted turtle either so probably the closest things I could compare him to is turkey jerky. I feel like the ears in particular would be a delicacy,” Winkelmann said.
Gizmodo reporter Victoria Song thought Baby Yoda would cook more like a game hen. “have you considered spatchcocking the baby yoda,” she asked me in Slack.
“I’m curious if it is vealy. Like does yoda muscle age slowly making it still baby muscle? Or is it like eating 50 year old meat,” senior reporter and editor Jennings Brown pondered.
“it’s like frog,” maintained Gizmodo social editor, Emily Lipstein.
I insisted that Baby Yoda could likely be enjoyed with nothing more than a dull spoon, but contributing editor Andrew Liszewski suggested Baby Yoda would be best consumed “like soft shell crab. just all in.”
“i will go on record saying this is a terrible idea for a blog and you should be ashamed of yourself,” said Features Editor Marina Galperina.
Sideserf, the only one of us to actually prepare a Baby Yoda that’s safe for human consumption, said that hers “tastes like Mexican vanilla cake and buttercream. A hint of cinnamon.”
I personally fall in the pistachio or matcha camp, and feel Baby Yoda would have the texture of mochi.
Tom McKay, who originally put this idea in my head, did not have an opinion on what Baby Yoda would taste like or why all (that is, both) of us feel compelled to eat the baby. “That’s not what I meant,” he has told me at least twice when asked about his original tweet. Instead of joy that more people are talking about eating Baby Yoda, McKay only feels sorrow. “I blazed the trail towards normalizing the consumption of Baby Yoda and here you are watering it down with neoliberal confectionery bullshit.”
Neoliberal matcha mochi confectionary bullshit, Tom. Please.