Recently, horse meat has been in the news. And in people’s mouths, as it turns out, somewhat unwillingly. Horse meat has found it’s way into all sorts of packaged meats across Europe – for instance, frozen lasagna, and IKEA meatballs. But what does horse meat actually taste like? We asked around, and got some surprising answers.
Our source declined to be named, but allowed it to be known that she is a woman in her mid-40s who travels a lot for work.
“It’s like eating really good beef steak,” she said, “I wouldn’t have known that it wasn’t really good steak if I had just sat down at the table.”
Although unsure of what part of the horse the horsesteak came from, my source commented on the tenderness of the meat. “Horses have a lot of muscle, so you’d think a horse as being more active and thus their meat a lot tougher, but I’d wager that the horses they use for meat are just grass grazers. You’d expect the meat to be tougher, but it isn’t. There was little marbling in the meat and thus less fat content. It was surprising, although, fish, too, are nearly all muscle, and, overcooking aside, when was the last time you had a tough fish?”
“How was it cooked?” I asked, expecting the answer to involve cooking the meat into near annihilation to shelter squeamish people picky about eating horse. “You’d have to eat it rarer, as opposed to well-done, to preserve any of the flavor,” she said, “As for people being squeamish about eating it… eating horse meat, at least in my experience, isn’t a big deal at all in, say, Belgium or France.”
I asked her where she thinks the stigma of eating horses comes from. “Well, cows are just as adorable as horses, arent they? Cows have aesthetically ‘cute’ faces – big eyes, big wet nose, yet people eat thousands of cows every day without thinking twice about it. Cows have never exactly provided companionship to humans the way horses have. Cows are viewed as a food animal. Horses are viewed as companions and transport, primarily.”
She made an excellent point. Nobody in America would be caught eating dog or cat – long considered companion animals, but eating a cow or a chicken is commonplace.
I thanked her for her time and left. I checked Grubhub to see if any restaurants in my neighborhood delivered horse. Surprisingly, my search yielded little result.