Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tastes like beaver butt

This might go in the "shit I wish I didn't know" column, but I feel I have to share some information that's strictly for your own good. Did you know it's possible you've eaten a stinky yellow substance that's excreted from a pseudo gland found in a beaver's ass? To be specific, it's possible if you've eaten anything vanilla, raspberry, or strawberry flavored that has "natural ingredients" in it.

True story. It's called castoreum, and you can click that link and wiki that shit if you don't believe me. Castoreum is also sometimes used in perfume to  create a leathery scent, and in cigarettes to improve the flavor and odor.

You can purchase three grades of dried castoreum from
In case you want to make your own flavorings from it.

Tastes like vanilla; smells like leather. Yummy. Who wouldn't want some in their ice cream? How about rubbing some all over your body?

Honestly, I hate to look too closely at castoreum. It gives me the heeby jeebies in the back of my throat to think about eating anything that came from that dried dog shit those beaver-butt parts in the photo above.

But I do have to wonder why somebody somewhere at some time decided to taste this thick yellow liquid that beavers use, in combination with urine, to mark their territory. Did a hunter who was skinning a beaver just pop open one of those glands, discover that inside there was a liquid that has what calls a "strong, penetrating odor," and decide to stick his finger in it and taste it? Did he then say, "Mmmm. I think I could use this substance to enhance the flavor of foods, especially those that taste like vanilla and raspberry"? And then did he lick his finger clean?

Or maybe somebody was in the woods and happened to randomly lick a tree where a beaver had marked his territory. And then decided right there on the spot that this beaver piss would taste really good made into candy. 

How else could it have happened? Beaver-butt glands don't just appear on the kitchen shelf like magic.

Also why the fuck would the FDA, once they were made aware that someone wanted to put this secretion into other people's food, determine that it's safe to eat? And then allow it to be labeled with the vague name "natural flavoring"? I realize they're a bunch of lunatics over there, but this is ridiculous. Call it beaver-butt juice so I can make my own decision about whether I want to eat it or not.

And I don't .... for reasons.

I really don't care if it's put on cigarettes. If you don't know cigarettes are a deadly chemical cocktail already, you're probably about as smart as a beaver's ass. Go ahead and light up. 

I not only don't wear perfume myself, most perfumes on other people make my nose itch and my tongue hurt. I'm not likely to spread eau de beaver ass on my skin, so go ahead and put it in perfume.

And I'm not a vegan. I've eaten many animal parts that for some people would defy consumption. Like hog nuts. (Read my post about pigs a few days ago and you won't be surprised I'd eat pig nuts.) And whole snails, eyeballs and all. And squid, which are not really that tasty looking until they're dipped in batter and fried. It's not the animal part that grosses me out.

I just don't want to eat the musk that comes from a beaver's ass, no matter how cute he is. One more reason to eat fresh, whole, and clean foods. Like maybe beaver meat. I hear the grilled tail makes a delicious sandwich.

You want to borrow my what?

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