Castoreum, a secretion from the bowels of beavers, is used as vanilla flavoring. Disturbingly, although the story is out of Sweden, it is mentioned that castoreum is used as a 'natural flavoring' in products in the United States as well.
     Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 15, 2013
     Category: Food

Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/15/13 at 08:14 PM
I can't believe you gals didn't know this. Castoreum has been used in raspberry and vanilla flavouring and as a health supplement for over 100 years.
Posted by Ed on 09/16/13 at 12:07 AM
What is wrong with tasting the secretions of an american beaver?
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 09/16/13 at 12:10 AM
We'll kill 'em and eat their flesh, but got forbid their anal secretions flavor our milkshakes. Those secretions bring all the boys to the yard.
Posted by younasty on 09/16/13 at 12:31 AM
Funny guys! :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/16/13 at 12:41 AM
Bowels? No!
Anal glands? No!

The castor sacs are located between the anus and genitalia (the beaver's 'beaver').

They are NOT connected to the anal glands or colon.

The only "link" between castor sacs and anal glands are that they produce two of the beaver's scent markers.

People who don't want to consume secretions will have to avoid milk, honey, butter, and a host of other things (and God forbid they think about where eggs come from!), and women and gays will have to stop performing fellatio.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/16/13 at 04:56 AM
Honey, mmm, bee vomit, my favourite animal secretion, straight from their honey stomachs.

It is funny how people have a problem with one thing, but not another as pointed out by Phideaux. I guess it is down to what you are used to.

Crushed beetle is a lovely colour, just don't be squeamish about it.
Posted by dumbledoor on 09/16/13 at 05:21 AM
It doesn´t say anywhere in the swedish newspaper articles that the secretion is used in Sweden, just that an official from the Swedish food administration told a reporter that the secretion tastes similar to vanilla.
Posted by F.U.D. on 09/16/13 at 09:51 AM
Shellac is bug spit (secreted by Kerria lacca).

Skittles used to be glazed with it.

It's still used on a lot of pills (to prevent them from dissolving in the stomach), to shine up lemons, and on high-priced furniture.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/16/13 at 11:49 AM
I doubt if extract from beaver has been used in the food industry in the U.S. within the last century, certainly not as a source of vanilla flavoring. A more likely source would be pine trees. You can smell vanilla in the bark of large Ponderosa Pine. Read up on vanillin (artificial vanilla) on Wikipedia
No mention of Castor canadensis there.
Posted by Jondr on 10/05/13 at 09:31 PM
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