Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Could Eat a Horse

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Could Eat a Horse

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Curtis

IT WAS mid-morning that the jokes started. "I bought these horse burgers from Tesco -- and they're off!" went one. "That's the problem with Tesco burgers -- too much salt, fat and Shergar" went another. Further quips pondered whether an Aldi horseflesh range would be superior to My Lidl Pony, whether a racehorse patty would cost 2,000 guineas, or if you should make a stallion sandwich with thoroughbread.

Hey, supermarket bosses! Why the long faces? Behind the gags, the revelation that some cheap supermarket beefburgers contain traces of horsemeat -- 29 per cent in the case of Tesco's frozen Everyday Value range -- was quite rightly treated as an issue of trust rather than taste. Yet again, the poor were being fobbed off with ersatz, adulterated food. Cultural and religious sensibilities were outraged by the fact that some beef products also contained pork. But what no one really seemed inflamed about was the idea of a horse-burger per se.

Time was when we regarded Dobbin as a companion or a piece of sporting equipment, and sneered at our Continental cousins in France and Belgium who considered him a piece of farm machinery that could double as a snack. When Gordon Ramsay tried to get Janet Street-Porter to grill a bit of filly on The F-W-ord in 2007, PE W TA dumped a tonne A of manure outside Claridge's, where he was then in charge.

Now, the UK as a whole needs to get its protein where it can. Horse is higher in omega 3 and vitamin B12 than beef, and much lower in fat. Cheaper, too. "It's very lean, very low in cholesterol," says Peter Heanen of west London butchers HG Walter, although he does W not currently stock anything pony. MasterChef winner Tim Anderson, soon to open his own restaurant, is keen to promote his recipe for basashi, or Japanese horse sashimi. Even the charity World Horse Welfare is san W -guine about the idea of people eating horses as long as they are treated well in life and humanely transported and killed (the horses, not the people).

In London, we have a relentless hunger for novelty. We also currently have W a raging fetish for styling up that simple and ubiquitous symbol of fast-food culture, the burger. …

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