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Horse meat in NY - Balthazar?

Lambretta76 Nov 17, 2003 09:04 AM

Does anyone know of any restaurants in New York City that serve horse meat? I was in Montreal this past weekend and was disappointed that a restaurant I had gone to specifically for a horse dish (The Continental on St. Denis, if anyone is interested) was actually out of it for the evening.

So, my search to try this in the US has begun. I've read up on the legal issues surrounding this and it seems to be OK here in the States. (At least from a legal standpoint, though it looks like it may be rough times for the producers in Texas, but I digress.) And Balthazar serves a burger on its menu listed as "À cheval" - could this be it or is it a silly name for something entirely different? If it is, has anyone tried it? And doesn anyone know of anywhere to get this not in a ground form?

Many thanks for your honest answers. (If this is going to become a flame war, please have the courtesy to bring it up on the general topics board.)

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  1. n
    Nina W. RE: Lambretta76 Nov 17, 2003 10:02 AM

    Oh, I have worked on this for a couple of years already, after a trip to France where I enjoyed lots of wonderful horse meat in various forms.

    Unfortunately, horse meat for human consumption is illegal in most of the U.S. It goes according to state law. In NY, it's illegal. All over the northeast, actually.

    I was in touch with the major meat wholesalers all over the northeast - no luck. I even tried to contact slaughterhouses in Pennsylvania and other states - no luck.

    So to Montreal I went this summer, where I had some wonderful meals which included horsemeat. You could try sneaking some back with you next time you go (I brought in plenty of stinky raw milk cheeses and nothing happened)...

    10 Replies
    1. re: Nina W.
      Sandy L. RE: Nina W. Nov 17, 2003 10:59 AM

      "A cheval" means "on horseback." It refers to grilled meat served with a fried or poached egg on top.

      1. re: Sandy L.
        Lambretta76 RE: Sandy L. Nov 17, 2003 11:05 AM

        Yeah - the "a" in front of it made it sound like it could be something besides actual horse meat... thanks for the clarification.

      2. re: Nina W.
        Lambretta76 RE: Nina W. Nov 17, 2003 11:03 AM

        I was going to bring it back, but my favorite butcher in Montreal - in the Marche Jean-Talon, mentioned that all meat items, regardless if they were beef or horse, chicken, etc., were being confiscated at the border. A friend was driving and I wasn't going to get him in trouble, so I didn't bring any back. Might I ask which restaurants you tried this at, and what were the preparations. (If you would post this on the Montreal board, that would be fantastic.)

        And thanks for your insight into the legal issue. I realized it was up to the states on this one, and I couldn't find anything that mentioned that is was illegal in NYS. BTW - what is the Balthazar burger of that name?

        1. re: Lambretta76
          Nina W. RE: Lambretta76 Nov 17, 2003 11:10 AM

          Sandy's right about the Balthazar dish.

          I did post on the Montreal board, I think...try July some time.

          1. re: Lambretta76
            Dave Embody RE: Lambretta76 Dec 2, 2003 02:04 PM

            Just a thought if you are still following this thread... If you bring Horse meat back and face questions, assert that the meat is intended for use as dog food. Horse meat is widely used in canned dog food in the USA, so it must be legal to possess.

            1. re: Dave Embody
              beth RE: Dave Embody Jan 7, 2004 11:41 AM

              Who knows what dog food comanies do not use horse meat?

              1. re: Dave Embody
                Carniv0re RE: Dave Embody Aug 14, 2009 07:09 AM

                It's illegal to transport meat across the border no matter what the purpose unless you're an importer, which I think needs some kind of special license.

                Nonetheless, I do it all the time (just brought some smoked reindeer back from Stockholm a few months ago). It's easy, and if you get caught, the worst that will probably happen is they'll take it away from you.

            2. re: Nina W.
              Dave-O RE: Nina W. Nov 17, 2003 12:28 PM

              What's the rationale behind the widespread ban? Is it a health thing (e.g., trichinosis or Mad Cow disease) or do U.S. citizens simply hold a different ethical view of horses?

              I'm not trying to start a flame war; just curious.

              1. re: Dave-O
                Nina W. RE: Dave-O Nov 17, 2003 12:57 PM

                I have no idea. Do some google searches - there's lots of information. A lot from animal rights groups and the like.

                1. re: Dave-O
                  Nina W. RE: Dave-O Nov 17, 2003 12:58 PM

                  It's definitely not mad cow disease - in fact, one of the reasons horse meat experiences a resurgence in France is because it DOESN'T have any connection to mad cow disease...

              2. n
                Nina W. RE: Lambretta76 Nov 17, 2003 10:03 AM

                Oh and yes, the Balthazar "a cheval" dish is just called that as a stylistic thing - it's not horse meat. Believe me, I got all excited too...and then disappointed.

                1. n
                  Nina W. RE: Lambretta76 Nov 17, 2003 10:12 AM

                  It is illegal to eat horse meat in the United States. However, it is legal to slaughter horses and export their meat to other countries. The only two horse slaughterhouses remaining in the US are in Texas, and legislation surrounding their survival looks to be pending...



                  1. k
                    Katmandu2 RE: Lambretta76 Aug 13, 2009 08:18 PM

                    Watch out, horse meat is full of drugs that should not be consumed by people...horses go to slaughter alll the time that were once someone's pet and that person gave them antibiotics, hormones, and other strong drugs/supplements to keep the horse healthy and sound not ever intending that horse would go for human consumption - unfortunately there is ZERO regulation on horse meat so you literally can be poisoning yourself if you eat it. Stick to beef, Buddy.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Katmandu2
                      Carniv0re RE: Katmandu2 Aug 14, 2009 07:10 AM

                      There's likely to be more antibiotics in most commercial beef than in a pet horse.

                      1. re: Carniv0re
                        roro1831 RE: Carniv0re Aug 14, 2009 01:36 PM

                        A lot of horses that are sold to foreign slaughterhouses are former race horses, so the odds of them having something "extra" in the meat are pretty high I would think.

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