Eating Butt Stuff

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In 2013, the famed NPR show “This American Life” investigated the rise of imitation calamari, and began the rumor that replica squid is actually made out of pig sphincters.

The initial response to this might be shock that we’re actually eating swine butt, but maybe that shock should be pointed in a different direction—who knew that with just a little breading and hot oil, a pig’s ass could taste so good?

There’s a good chance the rumor is based in conjecture, and that there’s little reason to fear the average order of fried calamari. But even if I have been eating pig butt all these years, I think I’m okay with it. Would the rubbery rings have tasted any worse? That’s what the marinara sauce is there for, anyway.

Apparently, though, that’s not the only delicious derriere treat we ingest. Castoreum, a secretion from a beaver’s anus with a surprisingly pleasant scent, is used as a flavoring for a number of food products, including vanilla ice cream.

That’s right, vanilla ice cream—the down home, All-American sweetness you can ingest by the tub or find rectangularly wedged between two squishy chocolate biscuits. Even if you form some sort of argument against the fundamental flavor, you’d be labeled a blasphemer, shunned to the depths of dessert hell (ice cream probably melts there).

It seems wrong, sure, but the deliciousness of these foods don’t lie. It’s possible there’s an entire kingdom of scrumptious animal butts just waiting to be explored by the most ambitious foodies. After all, folks in Colorado have been eating testicles for years—there can’t be much trouble in heading a little further south.