Why Lubbock Foodies Are Horrified to Discover the Truth About Imitation Vanilla
(Inset photo by Tim Umphreys on Unsplash)
We know. Sometimes, you read something that makes you do about 37 double takes, and STILL question it's validity. Then you Google it...and get really creeped out about the world we live in.
Coming on the heels of the discovery of disco beavers that have invaded Lubbock, let us introduce you to a wonderful compound known as Castoreum, which we assume is Latin for "Beaver Ass Juice."
After a journey down the rabbit hole (or beaver dam...either way) of Google, it was suggested that we Google where vanilla flavoring comes from. As a result, I'm about to throw away my computer, toss out every drop of vanilla flavoring in the house, never eat ice cream again, and move to a Quonset hut in Greenland.
According to experts, Castoreum is found in the butt glands of beavers and has a sweet vanilla smell, which is sometimes used in vanilla flavoring or scenting. My biggest question is: WHO'S IDEA WAS IT TO SNIFF A BEAVER'S ASS??? Who researches this (literal) crap?
A story from FactMyth confirms this horrific revelation that the the butt funk of beavers is used (albeit rarely) to "help mimic the flavor of vanilla, raspberry, and strawberry flavors in foods such as ice cream, chewing gum, pudding, and much more for over 80 years. It has and is also used in perfume due to its scent."
Apparently, one of the reasons that it's not used more often is that beaver stank is a bit cost-prohibitive. It's also a bit difficult to harvest, as it involves a process similar to "milking" the beaver's castoreum gland. That sounds like a Mike Rowe "Dirty Job" if we've ever heard one.
So, the question is... "Am I eating Beaver Butt Goop?" More than likely, no. It's pricey and sexy, which is why vanillin is much more popular. It's also why we do not recommend squeezing the ass of a Lubbock beaver. However, it may explain the crazy popularity of Bu-Cee's Beaver Nuggets.
Mmmmm, they're asstastic!