What does human breast milk taste like?

Cristen Conger

Breast tastes like skim cow's milk? (Scott & Zoe/Getty Images)

In "Should women sell or donate their breast milk?", Molly and I chat about what women do with excess breast milk they can't use. That inevitably led us to a mention Baby Gaga ice cream that made a media splash earlier this year. The Icreamists shop in London sold breast milk-flavored ice cream for a whopping $22 per serving, due to that special ingredient that came from around 15 women selling their breast milk online.

Flavored with vanilla and lemon zest, the pricey ice cream quickly sold out, exemplifying our strange fascination with human breast milk. On the one hand, there's an icky element to it, since it's meant for babies, not adults. But on the other hand, people seem to have secret curiosities about what that magical liquid tastes like.

Go Ask Alice describes human breast milk as tasting "a lot like skim milk from cows - thin, with a low fat content." But a 2008 Danish study testing how maternal diet influences a baby's palate also found that breast milk flavor changes, depending on the mother's diet. As reported by ABC News, the researchers gave 18 lactating women various "flavor capsules" to investigate how they affected the breast milk taste. Licorice and caraway seeds had the most potent impact, peaking around two hours after ingestion. Banana only tainted the breast milk for around an hour, while menthol stuck around stubbornly for eight hours.

If you can't afford a trip to London for a scoop of Baby Gaga, which was initially banned by health officials and later given the green light, you can always make your own breast milk cheese. Just make sure the breast milk source hasn't eaten a pack of Twizzlers beforehand.

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