Writing a post for every day of the week is a nice challenge and one I am committed to sticking to, but sometimes coming up with new content is difficult. On the days when I don’t have anything else planned, I thought it would be interesting to write about something that is very specific to my new life in Switzerland. The series will be called “La vie en Suisse” (because it sounds much nicer than “Leben in der Schweiz”).
Today I’d like to talk about Pferdefleisch, or viande de cheval or horse meat.
I was living in London when the UK horse meat scandal became breaking news in 2013. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t that worried, and I didn’t quite understand the mass hysteria surrounding the story. I did understand that it raised massive concerns regarding the traceability of meat found on store shelves as well as concerns about mislabelling and risk of harmful ingredients (i.e. the presence of certain veterinarian drugs usually banned in animals reared for food). But in terms of my beef having a bit of horse in it, I was like, meh, what’s the big deal?
I’ve eaten some strange things in my 31 years. Pigs feet (in my mom’s Italian cabbage and pork stew or minestra). I love liver and I’ve tried BBQ’d chicken hearts on a skewer in Thailand. I’ve eaten alligator and jellyfish and sea cucumber, oh and a deep fried mealworm. So horse meat didn’t seem that weird/gross to me. I would find it difficult to knowingly eat a dog or cat, though. I say “knowingly” because I’ve had some interesting mystery meat while traveling.
I was surprised, though, to see that the grocery stores in Switzerland* sell horse meat, alongside the regular chicken, pork and beef. It’s much cheaper than beef and appears to be a lot leaner. I’ve joked with Martin that I will secretly serve it to him one of these days, but for the life of me I can’t think of what to cook it with? Maybe a stew?
I picked up some “Horse Chips” to test out the flavour and they basically taste exactly like beef. I do find it difficult to not picture a horse when eating them though. Images of “Rimrock”, my trusty steed from my Flying U Ranch holiday 7 years ago, keep popping up in my head. I’m sorry Rimrock, but your friend does taste mighty good!
What are your thoughts on horse meat? Yay or neeeeeigh?
Many thanks to foodessen for her Beautiful Blogger nomination. It is extremely appreciated and I’ll be looking into what I need to do next shortly.
*horse meat is sold in many other European and Asian countries around the world.