Guess what I had for dinner last night at a super secret supper club? Hint, "I'm so hungry I could eat a _____."
Yes, this is horse heart with truffles. Oh, I can just hear the gasps of horror right now. This was from Quebec, where it is legal. In most of Europe it's still eaten.
In California, if you are arrested for serving this, the minimum sentence is 2 years. To contrast, you could torture this animal and have sex with it and get less than a year.
Yes, I know horses are pretty and sparkly and we owe them something. But that's not logic- that's no better than basing a law on religious beliefs. And in fact such laws do have roots in religion. Horse meat has a long association with paganism and back when that was a major threat to Catholicism, the pope outlawed it.
Don't get me wrong. I like horses and I've ridden them since I was very young. When I was 14 I gave an impassioned speech in debate club about the horrors of horse slaughter. But a horse is no smarter than a pig. And if it were legal, I would eat my own horses. Many horses go lame or break their legs quite young. Instead of eating them, we often euthanize them and cremate them.That's too bad, because the meat is quite good. No gaminess, so it was a little like lean beef. Also, draft horses are much more practical if you are allowed to eat them sometimes. That's why some draft breeds are still thriving in Europe while they are mostly seen on museum farms here.
Back when I was 15
I like cows and pigs too...and I eat them.
During the dinner, a woman from Kazakhstan who grew up as a nomad said she was so happy to be eating this, since she hadn't had it for 15 years. She talked about her culture's complete reliance on the horse, which involves use for riding, blood, milk, and meat. There they treasure horse meat and offer up prayers to thank the horses for their gifts to humans.
The chefs at the dinner paired horse with another unjustly illegal ingredient, Tonka Beans. No, I wasn't going unpaleo here :) Tonka beans are not eaten like real beans, but like vanilla beans. Shavings of them are used as a flavoring that many describe as being close to vanilla. I found it otherworldly, but bizarrely reminecant of buttercream iced birthday cakes. These beans are illegal because they have an ingredient that's kind of like a blood thinner, but scientists generally agree that they are safe and they are used in Britain and France.
< sarcasm > Since there are no factory farms that are producing digusting and unsafe food whatsoever, the FDA has plenty of time to raid Michelin-starred restaurants like Alinea, which used to make desserts with Tonka. < /sarcasm >This is stupid. Tonka beans aren't even remotely unsafe. Sadly, Tonka beans don't have a lobby that would help get the stupid law repealed.