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horse Daily Alaska Dispatch, August 4, 1900. By “patties” the author here means pâtés, as the next paragraph will show. It’s inferable that he is unaware that French people had been in the regular habit of eating horseflesh since the Revolution (when it was both a good source of protein and an anti-aristocratic gesture). horse2

I wonder what kind of lab work was behind the determination that it was horse, not goose? Again, it seems like our reporter doesn’t understand that the scandal here related to Perdon’s misrepresentation of his wares rather than the violation of a taboo against eating horses, which did not pertain locally.

I will confess at this point that as a starving student, I prepared more than a few mélanges hippophagiques myself. The local boucherie chévaline was too good a bargain to pass up, and it didn’t make any detectable difference in a batch of spaghetti sauce or chili.
And now that I’ve rendered myself unfit for polite society, I’ll just take my hat and go.


  1. I ate a horseburger from a street vendor in Burlington, VT (not far from Montreal and its Frenchy ways). I was curious, and I knew that if I told my mother she would be horrified. I must admit, the meat was stringier than I would have liked, but otherwise, no regrets.

    • I guess I’d draw the line at Soylent Green. Lentils give me gas.

  2. I don’t know if it’s just urban legend or established fact, but supposedly horse meat is/has been an ingredient in certain varieties of cold cuts in Finland. As a result, my former sister-in-law (sister-out-law?), who is crazy about horses and runs a small stable at her home, stopped buying/eating those types of lunch meat.

    I’m sure just about everyone has eaten something they consider taboo without realizing it at some point in their lives.

    • Not to imply that all of the Scandahoovian countries are alike, but why do you suppose that Finland is not on this list of hippophagic nations even while Sweden, Norway and Iceland make the cut?

  3. I’m really not sure. My best guess is that, while Finns don’t seem to have any cultural taboos about eating horse meat, perhaps it’s just not to their taste. They do, however, eat a lot of moose and reindeer.

    • I had moose once. It was awesome.

    • Completely off topic, but there’s a wonderful Indian fusion restaurant called Elevantin Tallinn. Among other fascinating dishes, their menu includes moose curry, korma, and vindaloo.

        • mrparallel
        • Posted October 16, 2009 at 2:13 am
        • Permalink

        Moose vindaloo–it’s just gotta be good.

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