Boy did I have to struggle with this blog on sensory regarding taste and horses. The taste of horse sweat? yuck. Grain… good, but we all eat corn and oats. Then I realized that there is a long  history of eating horsemeat. Apparently, horses have been eaten from the time man learned to hunt. Then, they discovered this animal’s strength and compatibility as a companion. From that time on, the horse was ridden and eaten usually in that order. Once they became too old to work, they were slaughtered for food. The horse is/was considered as agricultural as  cattle.  However, a cow produces more meat from grass than a horse, so it out ranks the horse in meat producgtion for that reason.

I do not know but the taste of horse is said to be usually slightly sweet, tender, more like a steak and doesn’t taste like chicken. Younger horses tend to be lighter in color than older horses whose meat is richer in color and flavor. (love you Wikipedia). However, horsemeat has the highest nutritional value of all meats. So let’s say it’s between a horse steak and a Dellmonico lean and fat trimmed beef steak: Calories 133/161, protein 91/89,fat 41/74, iron 3.8/2.2,sodium 53/63, cholesterol 52/59. So, horsemeat is good for you.

Once the horse was domesticated, (I guess it became ‘feral’ in Chilie after the Conquestidores went home and left them there), the horse wasn’t eaten as much as other agricultural animals. But during wars as the  WWI and II  when people were starving, people redeveloped a liking for horsemeat. In France, during the Revolution, horse was eaten because the horse was a symbol of the wealthy aristocrats and in some places are associated as the poor man’s food. Thus why it’s popular in Europe and Asia. Before the arrival of Christianity, the  Celtic people sacrificed the horse to such pagan gods as Odin and Epona and ate the meat.

Now horse meat is referred to as ‘horsemeat’…unlike cow (beef, veal) or pig (pork, bacon, hame gammon) or sheep (lamb, hogget, mutton) which are all Anglo-Norman words.   So if you wish to experience the taste of horse or avoid it as I would prefer… here are some ways to identify horse meat.

Asia: Indonesia- sate jaran..grilled meat served with spicy sauce. Japan- sakura or sakuraniku meaning ‘cherry blossum’ because of its pink color, basashi or izakaya. slices dipped in soy sause with ginger and onion, yakiniku or baniku, BBQ horse. Mongolia- kazsy,salted horsemeat sausages.

Southern Europe: Austria- leberkase-horse hot dogs. Belgium- paardenvlees or viande chevaline is steak tartare there, or  potatoes are fried with horse fat. France- boucheries chevalines are the butcher shops that sell horsemeat, viande chevaline is French for horse meat.  Germany- sauerbraten, marinated sweetsour braised meat dish..usually horse. Rossworst, horse sausage.  Italy-..pastissada, a horsemeat stew, pezzetti di cavallo,made with horse fat, salsiccia di equino or salami or sausages, sfilacci, strips of horsemeat, carne di cavallo, horsemeat steak, panino con carni dicavallo  or pezze cuadduis is a renowned horse meat sold in kiosks with bread, and stracaotto d’asino, pasta donkey. 

Northern Europe: Kazakhstan- kazy and shuzhuk, horse sausage, zhaya, smoked horse hip, zhal, smoked or boiled horse neck fat, karta, smoked and boiled horse rectum, sur-yet, dried horsemeat. Malta- laham taz-ziemel, stallion meat.  Netherlands- paardenrookvlees, horsemeat sliced and eaten on bread, paardenworst,sausages as fast food snacks and soups. Poland- kabano. Slovenia-zrebickovzrezek, colt steak. Sweden-hamburgerkott, horse hamburger, Gustafskory, horse smoked sausage. Switzerland- mosbrockli, specialty made with beef or horse, salmetti, sausages sometimes made with horse.

South Ameria: Chile- charqui, horsemeat.

The United Kingdom and the USA  do not legalize the use of  horsemeat in human food but it does pop up now and again especially in pet foods.  China and Mexico rank highest in horsemeat production with Brazil and Kyrgyzstan being the lowest. Slaughtering has even been made illegal in the USA but that hasn’t stopped the thieft and slaughter of horses. I never heard if the authorities ever stopped the ring responsible for kidnapping  and slaughter of show horses in Florida recently. Ferdinand, the  winner of the Kentucky Derby 1986 and winner of the 1987 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year, was believed kidnapped and slaughtered somewhere in Japan for pet food.

So, there you have it. The taste of horses…I’ll stick with beef.

Thank you