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(VinePair)   Everything you wanted to know about bison grass vodka, banned in the United States since 1954   (vinepair.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Żubrówka, Vodka, Coumarin, Hierochloe odorata, authentic bison grass vodka, cherished drink, presence of coumarin, Nick Wadeson  
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1031 clicks; posted to Food » on 30 Nov 2021 at 4:05 PM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



40 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-11-30 2:30:41 PM  
We can't have anything fun, can we?
 
2021-11-30 3:37:59 PM  

kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?


Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe
 
2021-11-30 4:02:05 PM  

RaceDTruck: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe


So funny.  I was going to reply to kdawg earlier and cite those two specific examples.

/even looked up that it's Kinder Surprise Egg that's banned in the U.S. (as opposed to Kinder Joy Egg).

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!
 
2021-11-30 4:14:16 PM  

Dr.Fey: RaceDTruck: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe

So funny.  I was going to reply to kdawg earlier and cite those two specific examples.

/even looked up that it's Kinder Surprise Egg that's banned in the U.S. (as opposed to Kinder Joy Egg).

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!



Mimolette cheese
 
2021-11-30 4:18:28 PM  
Coumarin? There's a fark ton in cassia cinnamon. Not much point banning one without the other.
 
2021-11-30 4:20:33 PM  

FrancoFile: Mimolette cheese


Thanks to you, I just learned that Germany has a cheese mite memorial:

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2021-11-30 4:22:55 PM  

Dr.Fey: RaceDTruck: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe

So funny.  I was going to reply to kdawg earlier and cite those two specific examples.

/even looked up that it's Kinder Surprise Egg that's banned in the U.S. (as opposed to Kinder Joy Egg).

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!


As much as I don't want any, last time I checked scrapie is not transmittable to humans - like at all. What would be the rationale there?
 
2021-11-30 4:29:08 PM  

Some Junkie Cosmonaut: Dr.Fey: RaceDTruck: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe

So funny.  I was going to reply to kdawg earlier and cite those two specific examples.

/even looked up that it's Kinder Surprise Egg that's banned in the U.S. (as opposed to Kinder Joy Egg).

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!

As much as I don't want any, last time I checked scrapie is not transmittable to humans - like at all. What would be the rationale there?


AFAIK, scrapie is a prion disease, like mad cow (new variant Creutzfeld-Jacob or whatever is the formal name) or the deer wasting disease that's present in Wisconsin & nearby states.  So it takes a long time to show up in humans.
 
2021-11-30 4:33:49 PM  

FrancoFile: Some Junkie Cosmonaut: Dr.Fey: RaceDTruck: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe

So funny.  I was going to reply to kdawg earlier and cite those two specific examples.

/even looked up that it's Kinder Surprise Egg that's banned in the U.S. (as opposed to Kinder Joy Egg).

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!

As much as I don't want any, last time I checked scrapie is not transmittable to humans - like at all. What would be the rationale there?

AFAIK, scrapie is a prion disease, like mad cow (new variant Creutzfeld-Jacob or whatever is the formal name) or the deer wasting disease that's present in Wisconsin & nearby states.  So it takes a long time to show up in humans.


USDA doesn't care if you die, but they very much don't want the disease to transmit to the domestic herd.
 
2021-11-30 4:44:03 PM  

kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?


It's simple to make. Bison grass is  easy to buy in herb shops or online. Pour vodka into a larger container. Put in the bison grass - I find a wreath shape works best. Let it sit for a couple weeks in a warm place, shaking daily. Strain the vodka back into its bottle.
 
2021-11-30 4:51:37 PM  
Dr.Fey:

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!


Endangered species. Endangered species. Stupid just like the rest of the Cuba boycott. Endangered species. Dangerous AF. Saccharine and cyclamates need to be reviewed; some of the newer sweeteners are a lot better. Horrible invasive pests. Ewww. Do you trust the typical Merkin to know when it's ripe? And yet they allow jeggins. The Altria Group thanks you for your service. Not just scrapie, but pathogens from stomach fluids; yes, sheep aspirate a lot of stomach fluids because they're ruminants.

So yes, outside of the need to court the Cuban-American vote and one which needs to be reviewed there are good reasons for all of these.

For the record I think there's a number of products whose status needs to be reviewed including the sweeteners, tonka bean, and sassafras. But given that the FDA's been starved for about 40 years and isn't even funded to do regular safety inspections at pharmaceutical plants it's not happening as long as Republicans exist.
 
2021-11-30 4:54:10 PM  
Some Junkie Cosmonaut:

As much as I don't want any, last time I checked scrapie is not transmittable to humans - like at all. What would be the rationale there?

It's more the wealth of pathogens from their guts. Sheep are ruminants and literally urp up the contents of their four fermentation vats to chew and re-swallow. A good bit of that including all of their gut bacteria, some of which are not good for you, get aspirated into the lungs where they can multiply.
 
2021-11-30 5:01:06 PM  

RaceDTruck: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe


Absinthe has been legal in the US since 2007. The traditional recipes that caused moral panics actually had less thujone than the FDA's limits. And those limits were beyond what medical science indicated. In fact, the real problems with drinking absinthe are
1) It's 120-160 proof, and the early 20th century bohemians were guzzling it by the bottle "Absinthe, the first glass! Absinthe, the sixth glass!"
2) A lot of it was cheap, unregulated, no-name crap that was probably green runoff from abandoned factory roofs mixed with industrial alcohol and some wormwood to hide the taste.
 
2021-11-30 5:03:50 PM  

anuran: Endangered species


(actually, while there might be environmental concerns, I think African bushmeat is banned mostly because of the risk of spreading serious infectious diseases like Ebola.)

Good list, though.

/I miss lawn darts, sniff
//we did used to throw them over each other
///kids are dumb
 
2021-11-30 5:06:54 PM  

anuran: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

It's simple to make. Bison grass is  easy to buy in herb shops or online. Pour vodka into a larger container. Put in the bison grass - I find a wreath shape works best. Let it sit for a couple weeks in a warm place, shaking daily. Strain the vodka back into its bottle.


What you can also do is make Cherry Vodka.  Soak cherries in vodka.   Then, eat cherries, and drink vodka.
 
2021-11-30 5:09:08 PM  
Yes.. That version of neutral alcohol is so much better and more neutral than other versions of neutral alcohol.

Having a favorite brand of Vodka is like having a strong preference of bottled uncarbonated water.
 
2021-11-30 5:19:04 PM  

mekkab: anuran: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

It's simple to make. Bison grass is  easy to buy in herb shops or online. Pour vodka into a larger container. Put in the bison grass - I find a wreath shape works best. Let it sit for a couple weeks in a warm place, shaking daily. Strain the vodka back into its bottle.

What you can also do is make Cherry Vodka.  Soak cherries in vodka.   Then, eat cherries, and drink vodka.


If you're going to do that crack the seeds and infuse them, too. They add a delicious vanilla taste like they do in Roasted Cherry Ice Cream. (Dear GAWD that stuff is delicious). Even Wild Cherry bark will infuse the vodka with a very nice cherry taste.
 
2021-11-30 5:22:42 PM  

lilplatinum: Yes.. That version of neutral alcohol is so much better and more neutral than other versions of neutral alcohol.

Having a favorite brand of Vodka is like having a strong preference of bottled uncarbonated water.


By law vodka in the US cannot have any flavor other than alcohol. In reality it very much can. Go to Still It's YouTube channel and look at what he's done with vodka. The grain bill (loosely speaking), yeast, distillation method, and more can make a large difference in the final product.
 
2021-11-30 5:23:02 PM  

anuran: Some Junkie Cosmonaut:

As much as I don't want any, last time I checked scrapie is not transmittable to humans - like at all. What would be the rationale there?

It's more the wealth of pathogens from their guts. Sheep are ruminants and literally urp up the contents of their four fermentation vats to chew and re-swallow. A good bit of that including all of their gut bacteria, some of which are not good for you, get aspirated into the lungs where they can multiply.


Fair enough - the scrapie thing just sounded weird as humans can't get it afaik.  Other stuff would make sense - thanks
 
2021-11-30 5:26:33 PM  

Dr.Fey: anuran: Endangered species

(actually, while there might be environmental concerns, I think African bushmeat is banned mostly because of the risk of spreading serious infectious diseases like Ebola.)

Good list, though.

/I miss lawn darts, sniff
//we did used to throw them over each other
///kids are dumb


Definitely. I wouldn't trust someone's random field-dressed deer if I saw it in the supermarket much less if it traveled half way around the world hidden in a shipment of timber and cacao beans.  It's also an ongoing cause of massive wildlife loss and has led to common species becoming endangered and is driving some like the pangolin to extinction.
 
2021-11-30 5:57:46 PM  

anuran: lilplatinum: Yes.. That version of neutral alcohol is so much better and more neutral than other versions of neutral alcohol.

Having a favorite brand of Vodka is like having a strong preference of bottled uncarbonated water.

By law vodka in the US cannot have any flavor other than alcohol.


You can look behind any shiatty bar and see a wall of flavored vodkas.  It's actually the primary sign you are in a trash bar.

In reality it very much can. Go to Still It's YouTube channel and look at what he's done with vodka. The grain bill (loosely speaking), yeast, distillation method, and more can make a large difference in the final product.

It's neutral alcohol. I mean, if it's made in some Russian's bathtub it might taste different but that's a defect.  Half of those videos are him infusing it, which is an actually use for vodka - a neutral base to make something else.  Or you can just toss some water into grain alcohol and have the same thing.
 
2021-11-30 6:02:41 PM  

anuran: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

It's simple to make. Bison grass is  easy to buy in herb shops or online. Pour vodka into a larger container. Put in the bison grass - I find a wreath shape works best. Let it sit for a couple weeks in a warm place, shaking daily. Strain the vodka back into its bottle.


yup. Hierochloe odorata. aka Sweet Grass, is native to north america and seeds, potted live plants, and dried herbal material is easy to buy with a simple google.
 
2021-11-30 6:05:05 PM  

lilplatinum: You can look behind any shiatty bar and see a wall of flavored vodkas.  It's actually the primary sign you are in a trash bar.


Just some of the fine flavors from their website:

absolut.comView Full Size

Absolut Watermelon


absolut.comView Full Size

Absolut Passionfruit


absolut.comView Full Size

Absolut Juice Strawberry

absolut.comView Full Size

Absolut Juice Rhubarb
 
2021-11-30 6:17:59 PM  

lilplatinum: anuran: lilplatinum: Yes.. That version of neutral alcohol is so much better and more neutral than other versions of neutral alcohol.

Having a favorite brand of Vodka is like having a strong preference of bottled uncarbonated water.

By law vodka in the US cannot have any flavor other than alcohol.

You can look behind any shiatty bar and see a wall of flavored vodkas.  It's actually the primary sign you are in a trash bar.

In reality it very much can. Go to Still It's YouTube channel and look at what he's done with vodka. The grain bill (loosely speaking), yeast, distillation method, and more can make a large difference in the final product.

It's neutral alcohol. I mean, if it's made in some Russian's bathtub it might taste different but that's a defect.  Half of those videos are him infusing it, which is an actually use for vodka - a neutral base to make something else.  Or you can just toss some water into grain alcohol and have the same thing.


I will not confirm or deny what the Turbo Still Fairy may or may not have delivered over the years, but I have been reliably informed that there is a lot of difference between column distilled sugar wash and TFFV or Uncle Remus's Rice Vodka
 
2021-11-30 6:22:15 PM  

Dr.Fey: lilplatinum: You can look behind any shiatty bar and see a wall of flavored vodkas.  It's actually the primary sign you are in a trash bar.

Just some of the fine flavors from their website:

[absolut.com image 300x511]
Absolut Watermelon


[absolut.com image 300x511]
Absolut Passionfruit


[absolut.com image 300x511]
Absolut Juice Strawberry

[absolut.com image 300x511]
Absolut Juice Rhubarb


I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I drank plenty 7up and cherry pinnacle vodka in my 20's.  Now, I'm more refined, and if i'm buying hard liqour its either tanqueray gin and tonic, or southern comfort and cranberry juice.
 
2021-11-30 6:24:46 PM  

Dr.Fey: FrancoFile: Mimolette cheese

Thanks to you, I just learned that Germany has a cheese mite memorial:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x293]


An evil weevil might afright a mighty mite
 
2021-11-30 6:25:43 PM  

ChubbyTiger: Coumarin? There's a fark ton in cassia cinnamon. Not much point banning one without the other.


And yet they banned the tonka bean. It needs to be revisited. And don't get me started on safrole.
 
2021-11-30 6:26:41 PM  

anuran: Some Junkie Cosmonaut:

As much as I don't want any, last time I checked scrapie is not transmittable to humans - like at all. What would be the rationale there?

It's more the wealth of pathogens from their guts. Sheep are ruminants and literally urp up the contents of their four fermentation vats to chew and re-swallow. A good bit of that including all of their gut bacteria, some of which are not good for you, get aspirated into the lungs where they can multiply.


So, avoid the lamb pluck sashimi? I mean, even tripe's a thing, and it's actual stomach lining.
 
2021-11-30 6:27:25 PM  

anuran: lilplatinum:
...

I will not confirm or deny what the Turbo Still Fairy may or may not have delivered over the years, but I have been reliably informed that there is a lot of difference between column distilled sugar wash and TFFV or Uncle Remus's Rice Vodka


Even inverting sugars before fermentation makes a difference.
 
2021-11-30 6:28:11 PM  

anuran: ChubbyTiger: Coumarin? There's a fark ton in cassia cinnamon. Not much point banning one without the other.

And yet they banned the tonka bean. It needs to be revisited. And don't get me started on safrole.


Yup, and that.
 
2021-11-30 6:34:11 PM  

iron de havilland: anuran: Some Junkie Cosmonaut:

As much as I don't want any, last time I checked scrapie is not transmittable to humans - like at all. What would be the rationale there?

It's more the wealth of pathogens from their guts. Sheep are ruminants and literally urp up the contents of their four fermentation vats to chew and re-swallow. A good bit of that including all of their gut bacteria, some of which are not good for you, get aspirated into the lungs where they can multiply.

So, avoid the lamb pluck sashimi? I mean, even tripe's a thing, and it's actual stomach lining.


Pluck sashimi.... 🤮
When I made haggis I did the bit where you put the lungs on a pot of boiling water and hung the trachea over the edge of the pot. Some really nasty stuff bubbled out of it. And yeah. Getting intestine clean enough to make tripe. And then you're left with .... tripe. Yummy.

Not a food scientist, although I would go that route if I could do it over, so I don't know how to properly do the relative risk assessment.
 
2021-11-30 6:44:11 PM  
A shot of bison grass vodka in a pint of cider is absolutely fukin delicious.
 
2021-11-30 8:18:09 PM  

anuran: Dr.Fey:

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!

Endangered species. Endangered species. Stupid just like the rest of the Cuba boycott. Endangered species. Dangerous AF. Saccharine and cyclamates need to be reviewed; some of the newer sweeteners are a lot better. Horrible invasive pests. Ewww. Do you trust the typical Merkin to know when it's ripe? And yet they allow jeggins. The Altria Group thanks you for your service. Not just scrapie, but pathogens from stomach fluids; yes, sheep aspirate a lot of stomach fluids because they're ruminants.

So yes, outside of the need to court the Cuban-American vote and one which needs to be reviewed there are good reasons for all of these.

For the record I think there's a number of products whose status needs to be reviewed including the sweeteners, tonka bean, and sassafras. But given that the FDA's been starved for about 40 years and isn't even funded to do regular safety inspections at pharmaceutical plants it's not happening as long as Republicans exist.


wonderfully informative, yet concise! tyty.
 
2021-11-30 8:24:47 PM  
also, it's not as if zubrodak is hard to find in the US, or even overpriced/illicit on some street corner. I've had both leaded and unleaded versions, and while it's hardly my favorite, it's definitely nice to have something different now and then.

aside from anuran's excellent (and amusing!) responses, I always have the feeling at least some of the time there's a holdup on imports "because issues" it's possibly boil down to nothing other than Stupid Tariff Reasons... of the boondoggle/graft sort.

FrancoFile: Mimolette cheese


I really need to try this. also Casu Marzu.
 
2021-11-30 9:08:19 PM  

anuran: lilplatinum: Yes.. That version of neutral alcohol is so much better and more neutral than other versions of neutral alcohol.

Having a favorite brand of Vodka is like having a strong preference of bottled uncarbonated water.

By law vodka in the US cannot have any flavor other than alcohol. In reality it very much can. Go to Still It's YouTube channel and look at what he's done with vodka. The grain bill (loosely speaking), yeast, distillation method, and more can make a large difference in the final product.


the shine we made coulda been called vodka except for the 2 cups of cornmeal put into a ten gallon sugar wash, it imparted a definite corn flavor on the far side of the process...
 
2021-11-30 9:28:16 PM  

Dr.Fey: RaceDTruck: kdawg7736: We can't have anything fun, can we?

Reads this while washing down a Kinder egg with Absinthe

So funny.  I was going to reply to kdawg earlier and cite those two specific examples.

/even looked up that it's Kinder Surprise Egg that's banned in the U.S. (as opposed to Kinder Joy Egg).

//Beluga caviar, Bushmeat, Cuban cigars, Shark fin soup, Japanese pufferfish, Cyclamate, Non-irradiated mangosteen, Casu marzu cheese, Ackee fruit, Jarts / Lawn darts, Candy cigarettes...

///Haggis:  "banned in the U.S. since 1971, the FDA deems anything containing sheep lungs to be unfit for human consumption, whether it's produced here or overseas, because of the risk of transmitting a sheep-related disease called scrapie."  Yum!


I know of five stores that I can buy candy cigarettes right now. Well, tomorrow, perhaps. They are sold at touristy stores around the Ozarks alongside Big League Chew and a bunch of off-the-wall sugar cane sodas with flavors like honey apple (you can see the honey on the bottom of the bottle) and birthday cake.

Also, Minnetonka moccasins. No idea why tourists would want to buy footwear but apparently there's a lot of oddballs out there who are like "OMG I normally have to hop on the internet for shoes, and they sell them right here next to the hoop-and-stick and the cup-and-ball!"
 
2021-11-30 9:50:58 PM  
> Due to its pharmaceutical properties, coumarin has not been allowed in food or drinks in the United States since 1954.

I brought a bottle of grass flavored vodka back from Russia in the early 1980s because I thought it weird that they used grass as a flavoring. US customs had no problem with it. Maybe they didn't know what it was or the Russian store was selling stuff that wasn't made with real bison grass.

As I recall it tasted like vodka flavored with dried grass - I didn't notice any hints of sweetness, vanilla, or other flavors, but then again I didn't know it was supposed to have those.
 
2021-12-01 1:33:50 AM  
Damn, You Eisenhower!!!


Fark user imageView Full Size



Nevermind, Damn You Nixon!!!!
 
2021-12-01 7:54:53 AM  

tintar: also, it's not as if zubrodak is hard to find in the US, or even overpriced/illicit on some street corner. I've had both leaded and unleaded versions, and while it's hardly my favorite, it's definitely nice to have something different now and then.

aside from anuran's excellent (and amusing!) responses, I always have the feeling at least some of the time there's a holdup on imports "because issues" it's possibly boil down to nothing other than Stupid Tariff Reasons... of the boondoggle/graft sort.

FrancoFile: Mimolette cheese

I really need to try this. also Casu Marzu.


Mimolette looks like an orange cannonball.  Often sold in halves or quarters.  It's hard like an aged cheddar, but the taste is somewhere between cheddar and gouda.  Used to get it all the time in Paris.

The mites are microscopic and you'd never know they were there.
 
2021-12-01 6:49:44 PM  

HairBolus: > Due to its pharmaceutical properties, coumarin has not been allowed in food or drinks in the United States since 1954.

I brought a bottle of grass flavored vodka back from Russia in the early 1980s because I thought it weird that they used grass as a flavoring. US customs had no problem with it. Maybe they didn't know what it was or the Russian store was selling stuff that wasn't made with real bison grass.

As I recall it tasted like vodka flavored with dried grass - I didn't notice any hints of sweetness, vanilla, or other flavors, but then again I didn't know it was supposed to have those.


If you're bringing it back for personal use, Customs isn't likely to care.

Offer not valid for drugs, sex slaves, and fruit.
 
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