Horse D’oeuvres

When you think of the some of the circumstances or conditions often associated with eating a horse, I suppose you can see why there’s currently such popular uproar about this latest food scandal. First and foremost, eating horse usually means you’re French, and no Englishman could tolerate that; historically, it’s often accompanied some sort of military catastrophe obliging you to eat your transport – as an aside, perhaps that’s why it became so ingrained in French culture? Third, presently being defined as a neddy nosher, indicates that you’re likely a slob, a culinary incompetent or a geriatric, because those are the major consumers of processed ready meals. Nobody wants to be so defined. However, geriatrics aside, I’ve got little sympathy for the pointless and the useless, because if you exist on processed food, you can’t really claim to care what you’re putting into your mouth anyway. In fact, given that horse has more iron, vitamin B12 and Omega-3s than beef, I’d suggest the outraged consumers stop whinneying, because it’s probably some of the healthiest stuff they’ve ever eaten…

It’s all a matter of branding anyway. Faint hearts wouldn’t eat vension if it was called ‘Bambi’, would they? If horse meat had a corresponding name, like cow meat or pig meat does, perhaps there wouldn’t have been any sensation at all? And I mean, it’s not ‘bush meat’, is it? It’s not some fetid, flea-bitten old chimp, all splashed and matted in its own monkey mess. It’s a lovely old grass fed horse (Probably. They might feed orphans to horses in Romania, for all I know…) Anyway, when you think of all the mechanically recovered hoof, tail and sinew, the dubious chemical concoctions, hormones and exotic colouring agents that lurk in a lot of this pre-packed processed feed, you’d think a nice bit of oh so continental cheval would have been regarded as a pleasant surprise – like finding caviar in your Filet o’ Fish…

Anyway, I wouldn’t need to be encircled by the Red Army at Stalingrad before I contemplated eating horse meat, I can tell you. In fact, all this talk of horse flesh has actually got me quite fancying a little nibble. I like a drop of red meat. But, frankly, I’d eat anything – and probably have. Just tonight I ate a delicious Indian from a restaurant that has “meat curry” on the menu. Now, if that ambiguous phrase isn’t tipping you the wink, I don’t know what is. In those circumstances, I think you’d consider yourself quite lucky if you ended up eating horse…

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