French gourmands: don't say "nay" to horsemeat

"I understand people are upset if what they thought was beef turned out to be old Romanian ponies, but when horses are reared properly it's a delicious meat." Gerard Marin, 67, of Paris, during "his weekly visit to one of a dozen surviving horse butchers in a city that 30 years ago counted hundreds." [Reuters]


      1. I read about the horse meat in lasagna story last week. I understand the problem is with the UK’s food inspection and labeling standards. I don’t understand what that has to do with legitimate consumption of horse meat, by the French or otherwise.

        1.  I guess it’s more about the outrage surrounding the news. Pork masquerading as beef would get some press (as it should), but there’s added outrage because so many people associate eating horsemeat with being desperately poor or a barbarian.

          1. Guess you missed the reports that Waitrose (upscale UK supermart) has just withdrawn their ownbrand beef meatballs because they contained pork. Oops, there goes the customer count in Finchley Road Waitrose…(Londoner joke.)

  1. The point isn’t whether horse meat is delicious or nutritious. The point is people have the right to know what they’re eating, and to get what they think they are buying.

      1. I guess the point is that we’ve been hearing much made about the difference between English and French attitudes to horse meat, as background on why the flap over mislabeled lasagna in the UK is being met with more indignation that simple mislabelling.  The article, however, is suggesting that horse meat has fallen somewhat out of favor in France as well, so that adds a little richness to one’s understanding of the reporting.

        But mostly it’s just an excuse for Xeni to pass along an atrocious pun.

  2. You’d be surprised what the French ate during the various seiges of Paris, particularly during the Franco-Prussian War.

  3. Yeah, I gotta say, the main point of the controversy (and I said that in my head in the proper British pronunciation even) is that the horse meat got labelled as beef, not that it was horse meat in the first place (though that’s a minor controversy in its own right, since the British think of themselves as “above” eating horse, though they have nothing against racing them).

    1. From the UK: for a lot of people I think the main point is not that they didn’t get what they thought they were getting, or even that there was large-scale fraud involved [anonymous horse meat being a hell of a lot cheaper than regulated beef], but that instead of getting meat from sources which are certified as fit for human consumption because they’re subject to stringent safety regulations, they’re getting meat from nobody-knows-where, in nobody-know-what-condition.

      My mother-in-law used to teach cooking: for years she’s had an arrangement with a local farmer, such that every spring she takes delivery from the abattoir of half a cow, and we all spend that evening cutting, weighing, bagging & freezing it; it’s a nasty job, but much cheaper than going to the butcher, and we know, down to the field, where our beef is coming from.

  4. Typo in the headline. A gourmand is a glutton, which the people in the article clearly aren’t. A gourmet is a connoisseur.

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