Beavers’ Anal Secretions Taste like Vanilla, Can Be Used in Food
There have been rumors going around the Internet that that beavers’ anal secretions have the scent and taste of vanilla. Vanilla beans are not the only source of vanilla aroma it also comes from coniferous trees and apparently a Beavers’ backside.
The Swedish National Food Agency confirmed the rumor this week. I’m not sure how they tested it. I wouldn’t stick my tongue near a Beaver or its butt.
The agency said that the anal secretions that beavers use to mark their territory, called castoreum, can be used for vanilla flavoring in baked goods, chewing gum, pudding, etc. Really, I have seen that stuff ingredient list; does that mean we are eating beaver butt?
In the U.S., castoreum is sometimes just cited as ‘natural flavoring’ and according to a report from 2005 the annual consumption of the extract and liquid was around 250 pounds. That’s a lot of beaver butt.
The good news is that beavers aren’t bred with the goal of milking their butts, so it’s not likely to be a very common source of vanilla flavoring.
I don’t know about you but I’ll stick to the old fashion vanilla. Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it is a delicacy.