Raccoon meat is very dark and when the coon's food is abundant, the body is covered with a thick layer of fat that has an exceptionally strong flavor and odor. This fat also extends in layers between strong bands of muscle. It should always be removed along with the scent glands. Unless these glands are removed, the meat will have a tainted flavor. The scent glands are located under the forelegs and along the spine in the small of the back. They are usually pea-shaped, have a waxy texture, and range from a reddish to a light yellow color. Care should be taken when removing the glands to never cut into them or bring them in contact with the flesh. Those most experienced in the cooking of coon recommend parboiling it first. Some also add a tablespoon each of baking soda and black pepper to the parboiling water to remove the strong gamey flavor.