Fuet are a type of umami-rich, thin, cured pork meat and fat sausage from Catalonia, Spain. Like all sausages, they’re delicious. And unlike any other sausage on the planet, the version of fuet pictured above are fermented with baby poop. Let’s state that one more time: baby poop.
The main difference between these sausages and regular fuet is that the latter’s distinct flavor comes from bacteria found in animal flesh as opposed to bacteria from the microbes found in baby poop, which is rich in Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium—two probiotics that can help burn belly fat, treat depression, and prevent urinary-tract infections. The sausages are also lower in fat and salt.
Scientists at Catalonia’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Research center in Girona, Spain took 43 fecal samples from the diapers of healthy infants under 6 months old. Three strains of bacteria from the baby poop were used to ferment three batches of sausages, while another batch was fermented with commercial probiotic strains of bacteria. Of all six strains, only one grew to levels high enough to produce health-promoting effects to people, and that strain happened to have come from infant feces.
If you think about it, this isn’t that weird. Since the beginning of time, we’ve relied on microbes to help develop flavors in meat, fish, vegetables, and cheese. Beer, for one, relies heavily on fermented yeast. Bacteria breaks out proteins and other elements to create compounds that are detected by our taste buds.
According to Anna Jofré, a researcher at the research center in Girona, “Probiotic fermented sausages will give an opportunity to consumers who don’t take dairy products the possibility to include probiotic foods in their diet.”
As of now, no companies are interested in commercializing these sausages, though researchers insist that they taste just like regular fuet.
We can’t help but wonder if the health benefits of these sausages can placate the symptoms of being grossed out at the thought of eating baby poop sausage.