The 35-year-old chef Jamie Oliver caused quite a stir with an appearance on Letterman’s The Late Show, where for Letterman, Food Revolution may have new meaning.
Oliver explained to Dave and his audience that vanilla ice cream contains a product called castoreum. “It comes from rendered beaver anal gland,” said Oliver. “It’s in cheap strawberry syrups and vanilla ice cream, and If you like that stuff, next time you put it in your mouth, just think of anal gland.”
When Letterman asked why beaver gland, Oliver replied, “More to the point, who found out that a beaver anal gland tastes good?”
According to the Journal of Chemical Ecology, and the publication Chemical Signals in Vertebrates, castoreum is the yellowish secretion of the castor sac, combined with the beaver’s urine used during scent marking of territory.“Both male and female beavers possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail.”
Lee sent this in, adding “Oliver explains that castoreum, found in many vanilla ice creams and strawberry syrups, is made from beaver anal gland. If THAT doesn’t convince folks to eat clean, I don’t know what will.”
Girl, you ain’t never lied. And, look – there’s video!
But wait, I’m not done. FriendsEat goes on to explain:
castoreum is removed from the beaver during the skinning period, and is dried in the sun, or sometimes over burning wood.
“The fresh pouch contains a yellowish, butter-like mass with a fetid, sharp, aromatic odor. The dried pouch is dark-brown, hard and resinous. Castoreum has a warm, animal-sweet odor, becoming more pleasant on dilution.”
Soooooooo, a beaver is skinned, his anal secretions [and urine] are removed and dried over burning wood… and then put in your cheap vanilla ice creams and strawberry or raspberry syrups?
Oh, okay. Bon appetit, baby.
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