Meat glue & 5 more things I'm afraid to put in my mouth

Meat glue has been taking a beating lately on the Internet -- but, really, how can you say anything positive about a food product that sounds so incredibly disgusting?

The rumor among food bloggers was that meat glue is butchers' best-kept secret and is used to "stick together scraps of meat to sell as prime cuts," essentially as a way to cheat the customer. Recently, however, Dave Arnold at the French Culinary Institute set the record straight about meat glue, explaining that the substance is a safe, natural tool used by cooks to "achieve fabulous and fantastic culinary results."

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Natural, safe, fabulous -- who cares?! It's called MEAT GLUE and doesn't sound like anything I'd willingly put into my mouth. Here are five other food products that sound just as foul ...

-Is ambergris as fancy as it sounds? Well, that depends on whether you think the hardened, waxy secretion of the sperm whale's digestive system is fancy. It certainly has a fancy price -- nearly $10K a pound! According to The Kitchn, you can shave ambergris thinly and use it to enhance warm cocktails -- that is if you can stomach the thought.

-You would never willingly consume beaver anal glands, correct? Well, guess what: If you've ever eaten vanilla-flavored ice cream or other treats as well as raspberry-flavored candies, you probably have. Check the label: "Castoreum" is the euphemism.

-Shellac is a resin secreted by female lac beetles. Sounds pretty gross, yeah? But not if you're a fan of Skittles or shiny coated candies, and then it probably sounds delicious! (Except not really.)

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-You may be tempted to turn up your nose at caul fat, but if you're a fan of charcuterie, it's likely you've not only eaten it (or its remnants) but also enjoyed it. Caul fat is the thin, lacy membrane that surrounds the viscera of animals like cows, pigs, and lamb; it's typically used to tie up rolled meats, and most of it melts away when you cook it.

-Doesn't coal tar sound like something we're going to run out of one day if we don't curb our energy use? Well, the same thing will probably happen if we don't curb our addiction to red-colored candies, sodas, and other sweets. The the viscous black-brown byproduct of carbonizing coal is used in these foods -- yum!

What's the grossest food product you've ever heard of?


Image via VirtualErn/Flickr


Written by Kim Conte or CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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