Scum. What is it?

I’m making chicken soup and every now and then I’ll go skim the scum that forms on the top. Mostly because it looks gross. But what is it made of? I’m not so very meticulous that I get ever piece of scum, so I hope it won’t kill me. But what if I don’t skim at all? What is this made of?

Tossed a coin. Came up General Questions. Figured it would get moved here. Wasted my time flipping a coin.

It’s proteins or coagulated lipoproteins. Nothing will happen if you don’t skim it. I don’t bother most of the time, unless I really want a perfectly clear stock. And for day-to-day cooking, I don’t give a shit about perfectly clear stock.

Scum is the groundbreaking first album from grindcore pioneers Napalm Death. Duh. ;):stuck_out_tongue:

No, it’s the groundbreaking treatise from Valerie Solanas. Duh! :stuck_out_tongue:

Scum - Floatable material in wastewater made up of mainly fats, cooking oil and grease which are skimmed off during the treatment process.

Hence the old joke is the wastewater business - ‘scum always rises to the top’ :D.

Protiens? Maybe I should put it into a jar for my smallish daughter who’s a gym rat. O.K., that made me gag a little. Maybe if I dehydrate it in a microwave first.

Whenever I cook anything that tends to form a layer on top like that (which I never would have thought to call “scum”) I just stir whatever-it-is often enough to mix it back in before it turns into a solid sheet of Saran Wrap.

Scum, to me, is stuff like the layer of algae that grows at the surface of ponds. Or, colloquially, certain varieties of especially obnoxious or evil people (with all due respect to pond algae, of course).

“Scum” might not be the same as foam or froth, which I always skim before covering a pot of beans or stew for an extended boil. It may not be harmful, but I’d rather not have any more foam in my guts (I get plenty from beer). If the scum isn’t foamy, I’d probably just stir it back into the mix, as in Senegoid’s post.