Even though most adults I know have wondered what breast milk tastes like, people can also get really squeamish about it. I guess it's understandable. In recent years, breast milk has taken on an air of mystery that it hasn't really dealt with in the past. As such, boob juice has pretty much just been classified as a body fluid and given little societal nuance beyond that. It's gotten to the point that in literally any online debate about nursing in public I've ever seen, the following question comes up:
"Well, we have laws against urinating or pooping in public even though that's natural. Why should breastfeeding be any different?"
Honestly, if you cannot make a distinction between breast milk and excrement, or recognize the difference between taking a crap in public and feeding a baby in public, I think you might be beyond my help. Fortunately, there are others among us who are not squeamish about breast milk. In fact, most nursing parents I know have "sampled their own product," as it were. Additionally, many a co-parent or romantic partner of a nursing mom has either accidentally or on purpose found out what breast milk tastes like.
Perhaps this dichotomy can best be illustrated in an early episode of Friends. In fact, this might be the greatest public discussion on the subject of breast milk of all time (which stands to reason since I'm willing to bet about 33% of our greatest collective experiences are probably from Friends as well):
This clip raises a far more important question than, "Is breast milk icky?" Because, duh, no, of course it's not, dummy. So let's get down to it: What does breast milk actually taste like? How can those of us who know put it in terms that those of us who haven't would understand? I asked some people to find out.
"The Milk Left In The Bowl After You've Eaten Frosted Flakes." - Me
When I described it in these terms, another friend told me "Cereal milk captures it perfectly." Breast milk: it's grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!
"Melted Ice Cream" - Esme, A Kid
I used to joke that my babies gained so much weight so fast that I must have had soft serve on tap instead of normal human milk. But maybe I was onto something...
"Watered-Down Vanilla Creamer" - Amber
I'm inclined to believe that this "vanilla creamer" breast milk is used to flavor the constant stream of highly caffeinated coffee that courses through a child's body. It's the only explanation as to why they are up at all hours of the night. Their veins contain no blood. Just coffee. I've hypothesized it, now it's time for science to look into it.
"The Little Cartons Of Horizon Vanilla Milk You Can Get At Starbucks." - Samantha
You know, the ones you totally buy for your kids. And you totally don't steal sips of that delicious, delicious vanilla milk. Of course you don't do that; that would be so silly. That's milk for kids! You definitely don't buy it for yourself and drink it when you have a moment to yourself in grateful, sugar-rushed silence...
"Very Sweet Almond Milk." - "Henry," Husband Of A Lactating Wife
When I asked, "So, like, vanilla almond milk?" Henry responded, emphatically, "No. Definitely not a vanilla taste. It's just sweet. It's like 'OK, I'm drinking regular milk but the only really big difference is the sweetness.'"
"Cantaloupe." - Cheryl & Michelle
Clearly these two are Team Susan.
"Lightly Sweetened Water." - Jane, Jill, Trish, & Kara
This makes me feel like these ladies are so dainty, elegant, and refreshing. Like, "Oh no, we prefer lightly sweetened water to over-rich creamy confections." If Gwyneth Paltrow were to endorse a breast milk, this would probably be it.
"Vanilla Frosting." - Lora
"Probably why my almost one and a half year old still loves it," Lora goes on to muse. Dude. If I thought breast milk tasted like vanilla frosting, I would be drinking it on the regular.
"My Son Says Strawberry Milk." - Sandra
This sounds tremendous and probably the most unique of the bunch. Either Sandra's son tastes flavors on a level that mere mortals cannot usually detect or Sandra is magical.
"Cake!" - Claire
And we have a winner...