January 12, 2011

Photo du Jour - Paris Mosaic

Horse Butcher

This old mosaic in the Marais reminded me of the boucheries chevalines that you see in France.

Eating horse meat is just something I can't and won't do.  
Yes, it's a cultural thing and no, I'm not opposed to it.  And no, I'm not a vegetarian either.  Far from it. 
It's just that the idea of it makes me uncomfortable.

What do you think?  Do you or would you eat horse meat? Pin It

28 comments:

Alison said...

I have eaten it, and would probably do so again. My attempts at cooking it were not successful, so it was never a regular part of my diet over there. I guess I can count the number of times I've eaten it on one hand.

Give me duck or lamb instead, please.

katiez said...

I have eaten it - not intentionally. I though it rather sweet - and didn't really like it. Maybe an acquired taste?

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

When I lived in S.Africa I rented the bottom half of a double story house from a Belgium couple. They used to eat horse meat on a regular basis and I was often asked to dinner. I have to admit that it did not particularly worry me. It was just meat from the butcher like any other. I am a horse lover though and they have been part of my life forever, I would not normally go and buy it out of choice. Diane

Anonymous said...

I've never had it because I live in the U.S. and have no way to get it. Which drives me crazy -- I like to be well-versed in foods, and horse meat interests me. But I've looked a fair bit, and one just can't get it around where I live. I haven't even found a way to mail-order it.

Pepe Le Pew said...

I would eat it and I'll tell you why. The day of the horse is over. We don't use them other than for the occasional rodeo but yet we still treat them like they are an important part of our culture. They're a little to uppity. Put a few of them on the grill and you'll see them a little more humble.

Ann said...

I've eaten in raw, in Japan. It tasted like raw beef and was dipped in a delicious salty soy ginger chili dressing. It's definitely cultural. Though I would rather it horse meat than tripe, brains or any other offal.

The Beaver said...

First time I had it was during university in Montreal - we had 2 exchange French students in my Master's program and they made a curry with the horse meat. The second time @ my MIL - IIRC she marinated the piece of meat like a beef bavette and then she fried it in a pan .

Betty C. said...

I'm not sure if I've ever eaten it. I may have in my student days in Tours, and may not have even known it.

Nobody has ever served it to me here, and I would never seek it out. I don't even know if there is a boucherie chevaline in Rodez.

Yes, I would eat it if served. I figure you're either vegetarian or you're not.

Class factotum said...

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile, working with a group of indigenous women. I was forced to eat it at a cultural event. Well, guilted into it by my co-workers telling me I should respect their diversity, except nobody talked like that back then.

These are the same women who had a sheep slaughtered behind the office my first week at work, then butchered it and hung the meat on the stair rail for a few days until it was time to cook.

Nadege said...

Happy new year!
I am sure I have eaten horse meat in my youth. I am not sure I would eat it now; maybe if I was hungry and there was nothing else to eat?
I love your post about "apero".
But "lapin"? definitively yes!

Loulou in France said...

Alison
Definitely duck or lamb for me too.

katie
maybe an acquired taste, yes. Sweet? That doesn't sound very good.

Diane
My family had horses so that is one of the reasons I'm not keen on trying it.

anon
I've never seen it in the US. If you come to France you'll be able to taste it.

Loulou in France said...

Pepe
So you figure that should put them in their place, huh?

Ann
I've never tasted brains, but love sweet breads and liver and have tasted tripe - didn't especially like the texture though.
I think I would rather try brains than horse meat.
Though anything with soy ginger chili sauce is a good thing. :)

Beaver
I didn't know you could get it in Canada. Would you purchase it and cook it yourself?

ditdit said...

I might try...

Loulou in France said...

Betty
For me it is too much like eating a pet, so would definitely avoid it if possible.
I'm not sure what the statistics are, but most old boucherie chevaline I see in the towns here are closed, so I wonder if it is eaten less now.

Class
In that kind of situation I would have eaten it too, out of respect.

Nadege
Happy New Year!
When we first moved to France I swore I wouldn't eat lapin. That was quickly forgotten!

Loulou in France said...

ditdit
Then you are braver than I am! :)

The Beaver said...

In and around Montréal , yes . In the rest of Canada I have my doubts. I will not purchase the meat myself but when presented I had no choice ( they knew that i had some dietary restrictions but I guess horsemeat was not mentioned) .
The same about foie gras- there is a brouhaha going on presently for the Winter Festival. It is OK in Québec but in the Capital City of Ottawa it is a no no.

Ken Broadhurst said...

It's true what Beaver says: the situation with horse meat and foie gras is about the same, politically or morally or whatever. I think the only times I've eaten horse meat were years ago in university restaurants in Paris. But then, I'm not even sure whether those steaks were horse or beef.

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

I would not eat horse meat of my own volition.

I was on a bus going down Rue St. Dominique a few years back and laughed aloud at a sign trumpeting fresh horse meat at a bucherie. The sign was so exuberant!

Pumpkin said...

I have and will again. I think it is very tender and good. I really love rabbit as well.
I think the longer I live out of the US the more open I am to food I would never have eaten there. After saying that...I just can't bring myself to eat snails or frog legs.

Loulou in France said...

Beaver
I read about the foie gras at the Winter Festival uproar last week. There are a few cities/states in the US that ban it as well, I believe.

Ken
I have no problem with foie gras but can't imagine eating horse because it is too much like eating a pet. I know it sounds silly, but I just wouldn't want to eat horse.

Mimi
We still have a horse butcher that comes to Olonzac (our local) weekly market and he usually has a line of people waiting to buy.

Pumpkin
I love snails and would happily eat frog's legs again. But horse, non merci!
:)

Brunofrance said...

Would those that would eat horse eat dog, too?
How about a parakeet instead of quail?
Or cat?
Where is the limit?

sarah said...

tried it is switzerland but it is not available around here. Tagged you with the a stylish blog award, have a great weekend!

Loulou in France said...

Bruno
Dear husband, you might not agree with other people's choices, just as a vegetarian might not agree with your choice of eating chicken for lunch yesterday.

Sarah
Thanks for the tag!

Jean said...

It somehow doesn't seem right. Are they bred for the purpose in France or are horses used for leisure pursuits and then sent to be slaughtered for food?
It does seem a bit like eating someone's pet. If I thought too much about how any animals are reared for food and then killed I would probably become vegetarian. I try not to think about it at all, which is terribly hypocritical, as I'm sure many animals are not reared and treated with the respect I would like before they end up on my table.

Loulou in France said...

Jean
I must admit that I've never actually researched where horse meat comes from.
You're right, many animals that we eat aren't treated with respect. It's a difficult subject to bring up because most people feel very passionate about it.

Brunofrance said...

Many of the horses come from the USA as retired race horses, injured race horses and also from the Amish in Pennsylvania. The Amish use horses every day as they don't use automobiles.
The Amish use retired trotting horses to pull their wagons and their small cabs they use for transportation.
There is an auction in Amish Pennsylvania at least once a week for horses dead or alive.

Cuisine de Provence said...

Tried it once - long time ago - and did not like it - it tastes sort of sweetish.

Chez Loulou said...

Bruno
Thanks for the info.

Cuisine de Provence
I hear from many people that is has a sweet taste. I can't imagine I'd like it.