Since iZombie made its debut on The CW back in 2015, Liv has cooked up a whopping 25 meals over a total of 38 episodes. Surprisingly, she's never cooked the same meal twice, and each of those 22 brain recipes is unique both in terms of preparation and in the human foods she uses to accompany them. But what is actress Rose McIver is actually eating when Liv cooks up her brains?
What's In An 'iZombie' Brain?
Liv enjoys an array of brains on the show, a good portion of which we see her prepare and then chow down on in the same episode. Though she often presents them artfully, even Instagramming one of them during the second season of the show, you'll be surprised to hear that the brains themselves aren't actually all that difficult to make.
Around 35 brains were created over the course of iZombie's first season, most of which were flavoured with coconut and almond to make them more palatable for McIver. Made entirely out of gelatin, the brains are set into shape using a mold made of dental alginate. The brains take around 12 hours to make and set, and once done, can be chopped, sliced and cooked as Liv pleases.
Though she's never made the same meal twice, Liv's recipes during the first season of the show were pretty basic, and mainly consisted of her mixing the brains in raw with pasta or noodles, or sitting them on top of crackers. Moving into Season 2, Liv started to experiment a little more by making full meals, actually cooking out the brains before eating them. This change in recipe led to differences in the density of the faux brains created, with heavier, thicker faux brains made for instances where we see her actually grind or slice brains.
Depending on the recipe, McIver has stated that the meals can either be really tasty, or flat out gross. When asked by Observer about some of the newer recipes in Season 2 and whether or not the method for making the faux brains had changed at all to make them tastier, McIver had this to say.
"It’s mostly gelatin, so it’s really what they mix it with to disguise it. I just ate, last week, it was actually tiny little bits of gelatin in with mushrooms, and breaded tofu and all sorts of things. It was really delicious! The week before we did a stew that was just appalling. It was like brain mixed in with packet stew sauce, this thick kind of brown gravy. That was pretty awful."
Aleya Naiman, the prop master responsible for creating the Season 1 brains, agrees that the taste as "not the most glorious." However, considering the flavouring used is ever-changing, we can assume the taste has improved as the show continues.
iZombie is almost known for having a wide array of aesthetically pleasing meals, and when asked how the faux brain for the Carpaccio sold at 'Meat Cute' in Season 1 was made, Naiman described it as one of her favourites.
"We made a brain that was quite tough and dense,” she says with a laugh. “It looked like a big hunk of ham being sliced into beautiful thin wafers.”
Whether the brains on #iZombie are raw or cooked, sliced or diced, steamed or fried, it's clear that a ton of thought goes into making them and deciding how Liv cooks them. If she ever feels like getting into the world of selling brains, I have no doubt that Liv's business could be a worthy rival for Blaine's! If you ever wondered how exactly Liv makes those er, tasty looking meals, then look no further than her Top 5 Brain Recipes.
If you like to see Liv's recipes in action, be sure to tune into iZombie Tuesday nights at 9/8c on The CW, and Wednesday's on Netflix for us international fans!