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Eating dogs, cats, horses, etc.

I must apologize, but all these dog avatars on a food-related board remind me of our peculiar yet understandable aversion to eating animals that, in this part of the world, we normally regard as our friends and family members.

Though I adore my cat, I find pigs have just as much personality and lambs are equally cute (no, that was not an intentional reference to the "filthy animal" dialogue from Pulp Fiction).

Mostly though, I'd like to know if meat made from our more friendly animals is of much culinary value. If anyone's had, say, Chinese or Vietnamese dog/cat dishes or Italian horse meat, please describe the experience and tell me if it was any good.

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  1. I've had horse meat in Montreal, QC. I don't know if that horse was Italian, but it tasted like a regular steak to me. No real difference that I could detect.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Infomaniac

      "I once shot an elephant in my pajamas. What it was doing in my pajamas, I'll never know..."

      Had ground horse in Bologna in a meat sauce. As it was seasoned, I didn't make a mental note to compare it to cow burger. But it was good in context with a Chianti.

      Speaking of pets, some Aussies on here might keep a 'roo around the yard. Now those are yummy.

    2. I've eaten horse meat in France and found it sweeter than beef, much like buffalo or venison. It was good, well prepared but I don't see any particular reason to seek it out.
      Also ate cuy (guinea pig), another common American pet, in Latin America which is very good. Ate it fairly regularly while we lived there as it was considered a delicacy and we were often served it at dinner parties.
      Barely escaped having to go to a dog restaurant in China with some employees of my husband's company who were giving me a tour of "real Chinese restaurants." I was relieved because I just didn't want to get quite that authentic. They openly joked that the reason that there are no cats around in China is that people eat them. I didn't pursue that one.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MakingSense

        Thanks for the funny story and the lowdown on guinea pig. I wonder if I would have felt similar relief or, rather, some form of Chowhound-regret at missing the "experience"

        1. re: MakingSense

          The "cats" eaten in China are not the domestic variety, but a wild relative, the civet. I think serving civet has been banned because of their suspected role in transmitting SARS. They use to be an imprtant ingredient in a wedding banquet soup called "Dragon, Phoenix and Tiger" with snake representing the dragon, chicken representing the phoenix, and civet representing the tiger.

          1. re: Gary Soup

            I'm aware of the hubbub over civets (which are not, as you say, wild relatives of the feline--they are their own family of mammals). I'm talking about good old-fashioned housecat meat: http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060620_1.htm

            I could be wrong, but I think the article's talking about Fluffy, not civets. Someone with more Asian food knowledge please set me straight.

            1. re: Gary Soup

              I don't believe the civet is the "tiger" in the soup. I've had the soup before in China and was informed that it was actually a cat. We also ate civet at the same meal. They have distinctly different names in Cantonese.

            2. re: MakingSense

              Had cuy here at a Peruvian place in Boston recently. Yummy. Have also had horse in Trieste, found it much like venison, but a bit too tough.

            3. As a city girl the horse thing just doesn't bother me in the same way, I'm sure I would feel differently if I were around them more. It's not common here in Toronto, but a couple of French restaurants serve it. So I've had horse tartare and steak here in Toronto. . one of the owner/chefs makes an interesting argument about why he chooses horse for tartare (pg 15 below)


              1. horse and moose are yummy. would never eat dog or cat though. ambivalent about rabbit--doesn't taste like much and the texture is meh.

                10 Replies
                1. re: foodslut

                  Thanks for the responses. Foodslut, I think you're overgeneralizing about rabbit (which is only a borderline human-companion to begin with); it's a fairly netural-tasting meat which can be prepared myriad ways (dare I say it.... not unlike chicken). I'm not sure what bland preparation you're referring to, but good stewed or braised rabbit (whether prepared Italian, Greek or French style) is really quite something

                  1. re: Yaqo Homo

                    i concur on the rabbit. their diets are so pristine it makes for a very delicate protein. but to yago homo, people freak out when they see rabbit on a menu. same with suckling pig. no doubt that same person has no trouble with a pork chop.

                    i found moose greasy and unpleasant. once was enough.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Yup rabbit is great. A bit spicier than chicken but otherwise very similar. My friends who had a farm preferred to raise rabbits as their primary "white" meat. Can't remember why now (can't ask 'em - there's been a falling out) but I think it was that rabbits are easier to raise and cleaner??

                      1. re: amyvc

                        "Can't remember why now"

                        Maybe someone can confirm this but I seem to recall that of all livestock, rabbits are the most efficient converters of feed into protein. They are also simple to raise - a small bank of hutches is easily accommodated by those with no acreage and the animals are quiet and clean.

                        1. re: DockPotato

                          I had rabbit once and hated the taste. I didn't find it neutral at all. It wasn't due to prejudice, because I didnt' know what I was eating until after I ate it. I'd never order it because of that.

                      2. re: hotoynoodle

                        moose can vary in taste depending on the area you get it from, the vegetation etc. same with caribou. however, most people find it dry, and not oily, it's a very lean meat.

                      3. re: Yaqo Homo

                        Yes... done right, in some sophisticated, fatty gravy, it's gorgeous.

                      4. re: foodslut

                        (Apologies in advance to anyone who might, on a regular basis, participate in the behavior I am about to relate. I am sure you are a really nice person, and I'm sorry if my generalization is insulting.)

                        On the subject of being ambivalent about rabbit: My sister-in-law's ex was something of an oddball in the family, pretty much a stereotypical redneck and an alcoholic bum to boot (not an alcoholic - an alcoholic bum). I'm not saying that lightly; he truly was a sad case. But he was very much the epitome of the stereotypes. If we were not convinced of the redneck part, the final argument was made one day when we were visiting my MIL & FIL, and my husband had the strange opportunity to ride with his brother-in-law out in the country where they lived. They were looking for a part for something - after these 15 or so years, I can't recall what - and drove down this road to a bar/lounge place to try to find someone who might have it. That person wasn't there, and they turned around and headed back the direction they had come. My brother-in-law stopped the car suddenly and turned to my husband and said, "Was that there when we went by before?" My husband hadn't a clue what he was talking about, and his BIL pointed and said, "That rabbit. Was it there before?" My husband then sees this dead rabbit in the road. Of course, he doesn't know if it was there or not and said so. So BIL backs up, opens his door, reaches down, and touches the rabbit. "It's still warm!" He grabs it and throws it in the car, right at my husband's feet. The BIL is pretty much beside himself at this point, and he high-tails it to another bar, where he walks in asking if some guy is there (someone he knows who will clean the rabbit). He produces the rabbit that he just found in the road. My husband said the entire bar made a simultaneous exclamation of jealousy!!

                        During all this, and not knowing, of course, what was going on, my SIL and I are trying to find the men (this is before the popularity of the ubiquitous cell phone). We finally spot the car at this bar on the main highway and pull in. My SIL went in to tell them whatever it was we were tracking them down to tell them. She came back out to the car, closely followed by her husband, who was carrying a sack of something, and my husband, who had a slightly peculiar look on his face. She got in the car, and he leaned in the window talking to her. They were talking about some rabbit that he wants her to cook for supper. I am not adventurous in my meat, and though I have politely eaten rabbit and sausage jambalaya before, I must say that I truly like to limit myself to beef, chicken, fairly typical seafood, pork, and lamb. The mere mention of rabbit for their dinner made me feel slightly sorry for my SIL, who was looking more than a little uncomfortable. (At this time, I do not realize exactly why, of course, because I have not yet heard the story of its "capture.") Next thing I know, there's a bag at MY feet with a skinned rabbit in it!

                        I can't ever pass a dead animal on the road without thinking of my ex-BIL and how disappointed he would be in me for just passing it on by without touching for edibility!

                        1. re: luv2bake

                          L2B, that's actually fairly common in rural areas where residents do a lot of their own hunting/skinning/trapping. I had a roommate in college who was driving home on break one year and hit a deer. She was OK with minor damage to her car, but the deer was pretty seriously injured. A truck passed by and then stopped, and the driver asked if the accident had just happened. She said that it had and he asked if she wanted the deer. She said no, so he pulled a rifle out of the cab, killed the animal, and loaded it into his truck.

                          Not much different than hunting, when you think about it in those terms, is it?

                          1. re: Suzy Q

                            That fellow was doing the only honorable thing. Kudos to him.

                            I've known many people over the years who have done the same thing, living as I have in the South for most of my life. I wish I had the skills to clean and dress game....

                      5. I'd like to know how possum or squirrel tastes.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: ML8000

                          I am not sure I ever want to know how possum tastes. They'll eat anything - and I do mean anything - and if you've ever been close to one you will never forget the foul smell.

                          1. re: jillp

                            That's why the traditional preparation is to capture them live and pen them for a week or so, feeding them nothing but corn or other bland, "clean" food, before slaughter.

                            1. re: HPLsauce

                              How do they taste? Like chicken?

                              1. re: ML8000

                                Sorry. Haven't had one, though I'd like to. My father's family lived for several generations in Kentucky mostly, and my great grandmother and great aunt wrote a cookbook together (published 1969); my father might have eaten possum in his youth; in any case he told me how to prepare it.

                                Anyhow, I'd be delighted if anyone more experienced can chime in re: taste of possums.

                                1. re: HPLsauce

                                  It has been decades since I had possum at a relative's table. It was stewed in gravy. Strong tasting and oily. I was a child and I was polite. I can live without it.
                                  Armadillo is referred to as "possum on the half shell" and I understand the taste is similar. Never eaten that.
                                  Nutria is similar to possum. Vile animals. I have eaten that as well and it was OK. I had a similar rodent in Argentina, called viscaza, that was prepared in an escabece. That was pretty good because the oil and vinegar dressing with a lot of onions cut the oilyness of the meat.
                                  These are not a few of my favorite things.

                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                    That's like something some of us would see on a menu and have not a clue what we might be ordering... delicate sauteed viscaza in an escabece.

                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      From what I've heard, armadillos tend to carry leprosy, so I'm not sure I want to know how they taste.

                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                        Is viscaza the same thing as capybara, the South American rodent that is touted as a giant rat at small carnivals and fairs.

                                    2. re: ML8000

                                      I've been told it's remarkably like sucking pig, provided they've been corn-fed for a week or so.

                                2. re: ML8000

                                  See above post for cheap & easy start to said entree!

                                  1. re: ML8000

                                    I'm not proud of it, but I've had squirrel before. My aunt and uncle live in the backwoods of Vermont, and my uncle likes to play "guess the meat" on Thanksgiving. I'll try just about anything. He seasoned the squirrel, so it tasted mainly like seasoning. It wasn't aweful! I've also had moose, which was really good.

                                    1. re: VTtoMAtoCAfoodie

                                      The funny thing is, people who will eat squirrel won't touch rat, and they're very similar animals.

                                      My understanding is that herbivores taste better than carnivores, which is probably one reason dog and cat aren't more commonly eaten. As I type with my dog lying next to me, I can say I would never eat dog -- the idea makes me sick. I wouldn't even eat it to be polite -- I wouldn't expect a Hindu to eat beef just because hamburgers are a traditional, "authentic" American food, and I'd expect others to respect my food taboos in turn.

                                      I have no problem with rabbit or horse, or Guinea pig. I'd have to think about eating cat -- somehow that doesn't seem as cannibalistic as eating dog would be. Oh, and I'd never eat monkey. Ick!

                                  2. No companion animals for me (in my case cat,dog, horse) although I once had a pet duck, Pop Quack, and I would have never eaten him (a fox did). But I will eat duck though! Bunnies are hare game though. yeah did you catch the play on words?

                                    1. Meats I have eaten that I see relatives of on my property (in CT) - Rabbit, venison, turkey,
                                      Those I have seen in a zoo - snake, buffalo, bear
                                      Regular animal eats - pigs, lamb, steer, most fowl (here I include chicken, turkey, guinea hens, squab, hens), fish (I know there not animals), shellfish
                                      Completely off limit - dogs, cats and critters as described below.

                                      Critters, per se, are off limit except rabbit (which I have to order while Mrs Jfood is deep in conversation with someone else at the table).
                                      Other birds are also off limits except as described above.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jfood

                                        Fish aren't animals?


                                        For the record, I've eaten most of the things you've mentioned, JF and a few more.
                                        My general rule of thumb- Not really into eating carnivores (excepting the non-animal fish, and other icthyvores [pescevores?]) Things that eat plants= tasty... things that eat other things=gamy (in a not so tasty way). But I'll try anything at least once.

                                      2. Just some random thoughts I had:

                                        -The aversion many people have to certain meats perplexes me, especially when their aversions fall within taxonomic classes. Biologically, how different is a rat meat from cat from dog from goat from pig from cow?

                                        What creeps me out are the invertebrates because they're so alien looking. I wouldn't want a live oyster, sea cucumber or snail even touching my hand, so why would I want to eat one and have it INSIDE me? I suppose for some people, that alien-ness is what makes those animals easier to eat. However, if you're one of those people who isn't as picky as I am and has no problem eating prawns or beef, then why not, say, hamster (which is sort of in between the shrimp and the cow in the meat spectrum in terms of physical differentness)?

                                        -If you eat crab and lobster, shouldn't insect eating come naturally? They're all arthropods and look similar enough if you set aside the size difference.

                                        -I can sort of accept the not eating top-tier predators or carnivores for health and safety reasons argument because I'm not sure if the flesh of meat-eaters is riskier to consume. Anyone know?

                                        -You can form emotional bonds with many creatures that we regard as food animals that are just as powerful as those dog and cat owners have with their pets, but we don't stop eating those animals, nor should we. Similarly, there is no need to exclude pet animals from our diets. I used to have a pet rabbit that I loved dearly, but I have no moral reservations when it comes to eating rabbits because I understand that the rabbit I'm eating wasn't MY rabbit.

                                        -I'm all for slaughtering any kind of animal and seeing what it tastes like as long as it's done reasonably humanely, safely and legitimately (no poaching, pet-napping, bush-meat, etc.). Of course, that last part leads into the issue of cruelty and sanitation as it relates to America's meat industry, but whole other can of worms...

                                        1. About a year ago, on a trip to visit with my wife's family in Korea and Japan, I had dog, a cup of worms and live octopus in the former, and horse sashimi in the latter. All good to varying degrees.

                                          Those who have wandered the labyrinthine kiosks and markets of Seoul are likely to have caught sight of actual dog carcasses sold amongst other animal meats, grains and produce, frozen solid with their eyes wide open. They look to me somewhat like greyhounds, very lean and muscular, and - according to my wife's family - are raised on farms. One dead-on chilly December night, my wife's uncle drove me about 40 minutes outside of Seoul, and stopped at a lean-to shack, paper doors torn and all, built into the foot of a mountain side. Inside were a few spare rooms with portable heaters, tables. You order two things here, dog or some kind of fish. Dog is available as cooked meat on its' own or as part of a soup called - and please excuse the lame spelling - "Pujinton". We ordered the meat on its' own, which was served up in a rounded heaping mound with what looked like a stringy spinach-type green mixed in. The dog meat itself was light brown strands of chewy beef. It tasted fine, not unlike other animal meats, and the consistency reminded me of the beef strands commonly found in the red-hot soup known as Yuk Gae Jan (again, forgive the spelling). To look at it and taste it, you would not think it all that different or repugnant. It was deceptively filling in a way that creeps up on you. We were barely able to eat half of our portion. Washed it all down with some Korean vodka.

                                          The worms are a common street food, served up in a paper cup with a toothpick designed to spear two or three at a time. They were soggy, not crunchy, as I had expected and secretly hoped, and had a unique taste, derived in part by a thick dark sauce. What I liked most about them was their appearance; they looked like fossils, emisaries from a future past, perfect and precise in their way, like troglodytes. Again, deceptively filling - half a dixie cup's worth was enough.

                                          The live octopus, which is actually freshly killed, and meant to be washed down with copious amounts of vodka, was actually the best tasting of the Korean trifecta. Of course, the tentacles are still wiggling, sometimes even as they make their way down your throat. But, mostly, they stick to the roof of your mouth. For whatever reason, perhaps because I was so far away from my home and culture, this did not unnerve me nearly as much as I would have expected. It was, in its' own way, a liberating experience. And, like I said, delicious.

                                          The dark red horse sashimi, which I had at a Ryokan in Kittakatta, had a subtle taste, not overly meaty, and went down very smoothly, like, well, sashimi. I did not find it overly memorable, especially compared with the stuff I tried in Korea.

                                          I will just add that, even though most will agree that, yes, eating dog is cultural, my experience is that most Korean people I have run into have not only avoided trying it, but have no intention of doing so. My mother-in-law's memories of eating dog are mostly unpleasant; it was the only meat available to her during the war-torn years of her childhood, leaving her with very little choice. Like most Westerners, I have found that a great many Asians feel the same way about eating so-called domesticated animals. Eating dog, I've been told, is done primarily as a means of fortifying the body against the bitter cold mountain winters, a natural flu shot so to speak. One meal is supposedly enough to hold you over for the season. I will say this: last winter was my healthiest in many a moon.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Polecat

                                            That's a good review. Thank you.

                                            1. re: Polecat

                                              my dad used to regale me with stories about how good dog meat tasted and how it melts in one's mouth. he also said that it's not like they're eating spot from next door, there is a certain breed of dog that is raised on farms for this specific purpose, the same way that angus is bred for beef.

                                              1. re: soypower

                                                "...how it melts in one's mouth"

                                                this wasn't my experience, although it wasn't bad by any means, and, as I mentioned, very filling. then again, i've only tried it once.

                                              2. re: Polecat

                                                Hmm, last time I was in Korea everyone told me that boshintang was something people ate mostly in the _summer_. They need to get their stories straight, or else just admit that they eat it because they like it! But frankly I was not impressed with the flavor.

                                                1. re: Polecat

                                                  I think the "worms" you ate in korea were in fact silk worm pupas, right? They look like brown "roly polys" that are squashed flat. I believe they are called boeondaeggi

                                                  correct me if I'm wrong

                                                  1. re: bitsubeats

                                                    Yes. Boeondaeggi. Not a bad mid day snack. P.

                                                2. Horse is fine; I've had it in France. I have not had dog or cat but as is the case with my comment above regarding opossum, I'd really want to know what they'd been eating first. Cats are carnivores but dogs, like opossums, will also eat just about anything. Mine are certainly willing to try whatever they encounter.

                                                  1. Dog (Philippines) and shark (Kenya) are a bit urine-acidic tasting. Rice fed field rats and deep fried sparrows (Burma) are delicious. We ate horse meat in the 70s in the US--after a bit of experimentation, very good. I've never been anywhere where people ate cats of any kind. Fried insects everywhere are great.

                                                    19 Replies
                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                      On the subject of birds, certain middle eastern cultures eat pidgeon - or "freek", as they call it. I sampled it not too long ago at an Egyptian cafe in Astoria called Eastern Nights. Not bad, nothing surprising though, and not enough meat on the bone.

                                                        1. re: yayadave

                                                          It stands to reason, yeah. Why should dog stand apart from other recipes in that sense? The preparation and flavoring probably mirror the general differences in Korean and Phillipino cuisine.

                                                        2. re: Polecat

                                                          Squab (young, domesticated pigeon) is my favorite fowl, very red-meatish. I remember the first time I had it not long ago. One of those 'hmm, maybe I could make it in the wild' daydreams.

                                                          1. re: Polecat

                                                            side note about pidgeons, they are not native to the US and were brought here originally as a food product. See what happens when you let your food run wild.

                                                            1. re: justagthing

                                                              As I understand it, most squab is actually king bird, a cousin of the pigeon. The big thing is that the kingbird is flightless, like a chicken.

                                                          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                            Sam, I went shrimping with Daddy and some of his friends in South Louisiana a few years ago. There were families of Vietnamese living on their shrimp boats where we launched that day. The guys told us that the docks used to filled with cats but no more - the Vietnamese ate them all. No idea if that was local Cajuns pulling our legs but there used to be cats everywhere there when I was a kid.

                                                            Many old Louisiana houses had pigeon houses where they were raised for food. They are not at all uncommon in French markets. They are really delicious if you can get visons of park benches out of your mind. Similar to dove.

                                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                                              MS, we used to go dove hunting in the Central Valley of California. Great breast meat after you picked out the shot. But pigeon--those flying rats! Now go tell them Cajuns that the Vietnamese are so clean and leave so little garbage that the rats, then the cats had to go elsewhere.

                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                We saw a pigeon in a supermarket in France once - this is not a lie! - in the freezer case, feathers and all, frozen solid with a price sticker on it - right on the feathers, no wrapping. My kids and I almost fell on the floor laughing.
                                                                The Cajuns came by it honestly and as did the Vietnames after the French were in IndoChina for so many year! We just can't help ourselves.

                                                                1. re: MakingSense

                                                                  The French!!!?? What can you say? On the other hand, you Cajuns are like us--descendants but now quite different. Your Cajun music is better, however.

                                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                                    Reminds me of my surprise one time when we were at friends' of my parents. The husband was a serious hunter, big game in Alaska once a year as well as regular weekend trips here (S. Louisiana) and about. My mom's friend sent me to the freezer for something, and there were about 12 fully-feathered, frozen stiff, dead ducks staring at me (in addition to a few other not-from-the-grocer items)!! Freaked me out (I was about 16 at the time).

                                                                    Every once in a while, I still picture that & what my reaction must have looked like to all of them and just have to laugh.

                                                                  2. re: MakingSense

                                                                    Yes, but I believe the correct term for pigeon meat is "squab." I would never order pigeon meat at a restaurant, but have no problem ordering squab.

                                                                    French restaurants have some especially nice preparations.

                                                                    1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                                                      Squab served at restaurants are usually domesticated White King Birds (a relative/breed variation of the pigeon), at least in the U.S.

                                                                  3. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                    When I was a child, I had a burger made out of dog meat in the Philippines. It was dry and gamey. I also remember that it had a strong horseradish sauce of some kind on it. Don't think I'll ever have that again.

                                                                    1. re: brattenheimer

                                                                      Odd. Among the various dog meat preparations in the Philippines, I've never seen anyone grind the meat. Kung pwede maguusap, Pilipino kayo?

                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                        Hapa-flip. Sadly, never taught nor learned Tagalog.

                                                                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                      Sam, I've had shark. It was really fresh (caught that morning) and broiled in lemon, butter and white wine. I thought it was rather tough, but I didn't find it overly acidic at all. Guess the lemon and wine took care of that though.

                                                                      1. re: Suzy Q

                                                                        shark meat turns bad pretty fast it has a urine smell if it is not fresh

                                                                    3. When we first moved to the country in New Hampshire, we adopted a mutt from animal rescue who came with the name "Princess". (Relax, this is not a dog-eating story.) I felt like an idiot standing in the woods screaming "Princess" but she was a sweet dog. One evening, I'm out in the garden pulling weeds when she goes bounding out into the woods. There's a huge racket, and she comes back, dragging a wild turkey she had managed to bag. The thing was bigger than the dog. Faced with a still warm carcass, and being a recent former Manhattanite with few skills except ordering take-out, I called up a neighbor. "Oh, that's easy", he says. "Just cut off the head, hang it and let the blood drain out. Then cut it open and take out the guts. Then you boil a big pot of water so you can get the feathers off...Tasty!" This was a little more than I could deal with at 7pm--I ended up burying the poor bird.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: whs

                                                                        ROFL I'm not sure if I'd have buried it or given it to the neighbor, but I know I'd have been with you in having more than I could deal with (in my case regardless of the hour of day!)

                                                                      2. Hmm. I have a horse, a dog and a cat, therefore they don't get eaten. But I've probably eaten horse without knowing it. It's one of the five major food groups in Mongolia, where I've spent some time and you basically eat what's put before you when you're out in the wilderness. At the end of the trip we bought and ate a goat. It was killed while we watched and cooked that afternoon: it was one of the best meals of my life. I eat rabbit all of the time. The first time was at a Hungarian restaurant called Csiko's in DC that's no longer there. Hungarians do wonderful things with rabbit. I get fresh rabbits at Amish markets in PA/NJ and at the Italian market in South Philly and make a paprikas or fricassee. Last week I went to a dinner in Lewes Delaware where the chef prepared a winter paella of duck and rabbit in a 4' diameter gas-fired pan that he brought back from Spain. It was quite good.

                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Ellen

                                                                          Saying you've probably eaten horse & not known it reminds me of the rumor in school - that the school ravioli was made with horsemeat. I haven't been able to eat canned ravioli since then (not that it's a big loss!)

                                                                          1. re: Ellen

                                                                            Ellen, you would've most definitely known, if you'd eaten horsemeat in Mongolia. Outside of Kazakh province, horsemeat is not a main diet staple for Mongols. It is eaten there, but not too often. Some Mongols even look down at that practice, since horse is the (wo)man's best friend there. But that's not the point - if you'd eaten horse meat there, you would've noticed since it has a really distinct flavor and a very strong smell (not very pleasant in my book). Maybe in other countries, they process and spice it up so it tastes like steak as people have mentioned here, but there you would've just gotten plain boiled meat.

                                                                            To answer the OP's initial question, yes horsemeat has a unique property of having the lowest fat content. Its fat also doesn't solidify, IIRC, so it can be served both hot or cold. It also believed to have low impact on raising bad cholesterol. My favorite preparation of horsemeat is done by Kazakhs - they make this dried sausage (called Kaz) by stuffing horsemeat into horse intestines. Really good.

                                                                            Another interesting meat, and a total opposite of horsemeat, is marmot's (also popular in Mongolia). Its fat content is so high, it doesn't ever go bad after you cook it even in hottest months. Sort of like natural confit. Mmm, and so tasty, I'm salivating just typing about it...

                                                                            1. re: welle

                                                                              I decided to pass on trying any Marmot as it is a carrier of Bubonic plague. Not a common occurrence, but enough to put me off. On the other hand, horsemeat is commonly eaten in Mongolia. Many Mongols do not have the same emotional attachment to horses there as we do here in the US and will slaughter them for food much like the goats and sheep, especially if they're no longer useful for transportation or racing. Same goes for camels. And except for the goat I bought, which was prepared with hot rocks within the body cavity similar to how marmot is prepared, we were served mostly boiled meat and fat, along with boiled bread, pickles, and weird little bananas in cellophane packs. Nothing we were served while camping was in any way noteable or distinct in any way so I probably did escape eating horses. Thank God I packed a few large bags of peanut M&Ms to get us through.

                                                                              1. re: Ellen

                                                                                I should know - I'm from there. Horses for Mongols mean way more than to Americans. They're their livelihood, it's not some little pet thing you get tired of. I'm not saying they don't eat horsemeat, but it's not a daily staple, and for sure they would've not served it to a foreigner, especially a passerby like you. An opening scene of Jarhead comes to mind, when they pretend branding the new recruit: 'You have to earn it'.
                                                                                As for bubonic plague, it's always there, but I've never heard of a single incident of human getting sick. People there have centuries-long experience to recognize infected locales.

                                                                                1. re: welle

                                                                                  By the same token, the eating of beef was prohibited within the Imperial Palace because cattle were seen as loyal workers and producers.

                                                                                2. re: Ellen

                                                                                  Peanut M&Ms are a traveler's best friend. They travel well, keep for ages, great snack in a pinch, just about everyone likes them so they make great gifts and ice-breakers when you're in remote areas, melts in your mouth - not in your hand, and unlike some of the items talked about on this post, they don't kinda taste like chicken! Could never eat any of the three meats that the OP lists - that's why I always pack M&Ms. :)

                                                                            2. When I was a kid at summer camp in Maine, we went on a two day hike and camping trip, accompanied by counselors and a Native American nature instructor. One morning when we woke up the instructor had a dead porcupine by the fire, which he had caught during the night. He cooked it up by cutting it into large pieces and rendering it in a pot with water. The meat was very fatty, and eventually the fat rendered out and the meat and bone was frying in oil. He seasoned it with something like spruce sap.

                                                                              It tasted like no meat I've ever eaten, almost floral and sweet, and possibly the best thing I've ever eaten. I think of this all the time and I'd jump at the opportunity to try it again.

                                                                              1. cteats- Did you see that episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain eats porcupine in Vietnam? They keep telling him it is "squiggle" I laughed my head off.

                                                                                The most recent episode, he eats wild boar anus, because that is what was offered to him.

                                                                                Protein is protein. It is not my place to judge what others eat.

                                                                                I only draw the line at food that is not sustainable or is over harvested or hunted.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: septocaine_queen

                                                                                  No, I haven't seen that one yet, but I did see in this Wiki entry that porcupine is eaten in Vietnam:


                                                                                  Also, the article says it has a following in Italy! Wow, that makes you wonder ... porcupine ragu ... porcupine braised in milk with sage ... porcupine fricasse ...

                                                                                    1. re: septocaine_queen

                                                                                      And, BTW, I'm not sure exactly where I draw the line, but I know it in on this side of boar anus ...

                                                                                      1. re: cteats

                                                                                        I stand corrected. It was rectum (anus is just the end part).Yeah, it busted me up when the bushmen just squeezed the "contents" out without washing it and threw it on the fire.

                                                                                    2. I remember several years ago I had a Philipino co worker. We had a work picnic. The people I worked with a bunch of rubes who blurted out "so do you eat dog" I was mortified on two levels...one- what if he did? This possibility only existed in the back of my early 20's mind. and two how rude to put it that way. But, I replied to the group..."geez don't bug him about stupid stereotypes"... Anyhow he answered he did indeed back home. Still not really shocking to me (although distastful). The story that proceeded though.. Ok here goes. The guy had a pet dog for a years. It was apparently a real pain, but still a pet. One night he and his friends were pretty crocked and the dog did something annoying and it was suggested that they eat him...and did just that.

                                                                                      I did however, get an interesting cooking tip from him. He marinates meat in 7- up before grilling. go figure it is pretty good. We made ribs that day

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: lyn

                                                                                        My roommate is in the Philippines right now as a Peace Corps member. She is a true animal lover, and has taken in one cat and two dogs (there were some parrots/parakeets/some sort of bird she rescued/bought in the marketplace, but she released them when she realized they were a native species). I just sent her two metal name tags stamped with her name, the Peace Corps, and the dogs' names so that people will know they are pets if they get loose and hopefully not eat them. Apparently her neighbors lost a couple of pets that way.

                                                                                        There is also a thriving trade in Philippino barbecue (marinated in seven-up, among other things) at my local flea market. A Philippino friend introduced me to it after catching a whiff of it the first time she visited the flea market with me. Before she even saw the cart, she told me what we were having for lunch. I had no complaints--the pork skewers were soooo tasty! However, there are several carts scattered all over the flea market, each owned by different people who have slightly different recipes. I am slowly working my way through the different carts...

                                                                                        1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                          She only needs to worry if she is in dog-eating country: Ilocos or areas in Mindanao where Ilocanos have settled. Tagalogs, Bicolanos, Visayans, Cebuanos, Ilongos, ...don't eat dog.

                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                            The main language is Cebuano in her area, but the locals were the ones who warned her about the possibility. One of the dogs she got was actually about to be butchered. Mindanao isn't too far away from where she is though.

                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                              I don’t think its ilocanos the only people I know that eat it in the Philippines are people from poverty like from Cavite. eating dogs in the Philippines is not treated as delicacies like it is in Korea

                                                                                        2. What I really didn't like was Chinese students in the Philippines beating a dog a few times prior to killing and butchering in order to get the flavor- and texture-enhancing adrenaline flowing in the dog.

                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                            Are you serious? I thought adrenaline/anxiety during death has a detrimental effect to the texture of meat. My understanding is that slaughterhouses in America do their best to keep cattle calm right until the (rather sudden) moment of death--not because of humane reasons, but because a scared cow produces inferior meat.

                                                                                            1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                                                                              After reading Fast Food Nation, I have some doubts that the mass processed beef we eat is much better prepared then beating a dog in the street...we just don't get to see it and/or have an personal/anthropomorphic view of cows. On that note, I think there's some logic in the thought that human carnivores (me included) should at the least witness how animals are slaugthered for consumption. I have (a pig) and I helped clean up...it does make you think.

                                                                                              1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                                                                                I don't know. Other Chinese later told me the reason for the beating. I was in no mood to go chat the guys up who were beating the dog. I wanted to take their stick and give them a good beating till their flavor and texture improved.

                                                                                                1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                                                                                  This either seriously promotes or demotes the status of possum as a meat, not sure which.

                                                                                                2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                  Just to clear up the confusion....they beat the animal before slaughter to get rid of the adrenaline. They will usually beat it, then leave it to work off the adrenaline, then beat it again....repeating the process until all the adrenaline is used up and is no longer present in the meat. Same process used in almost all of western China and Tibet prior to lamb and sheep slaughtering....

                                                                                                  1. re: ShanghaiSam

                                                                                                    now that is what i call uncivilized

                                                                                                    1. re: foodperv

                                                                                                      Well, judging from a horrible news report today, Southern Cally isn't all that more civilized when it comes to treating cows. My god.

                                                                                                        1. re: foodperv

                                                                                                          Some slaughterhouse in SoCal has been reported for incredible cruel treatment of cattle by the Humane Society. The footage was painful to watch. I really have no problem with eating meat... but damn it, at least treat your 'food' with respect and kindness --

                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                            i saw that about a week ago sorry thought you were reffering to some newer thing
                                                                                                            but at least someone is doing something about it there
                                                                                                            i know is happens around our country and IF & WHEN they are caught they are dealt with at least it is not an accepted practice here
                                                                                                            but it is allowed to be cruel in other SO-CALLED civilized cultures

                                                                                                    2. re: ShanghaiSam

                                                                                                      Thanks for the clarification. But wouldn't a quick kill result in no adrenaline?

                                                                                                      So, as a Sam, are you my counterpart in Shanghai?

                                                                                                    3. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                      I have heard that this is done in Korea, the beating is designed to increase the adrenaline in the meat before eating - eating dog prepared in this manner is supposed to increase your body temperature (and various associated physiologies), that's precisely why it is done (quick slaughter would not increase adrenaline, as Sam suggests). This treatment is supposed to make the meat smell terrible too. And it is Totally Barbaric IMO.

                                                                                                    4. and everyone complains about swallowing goldfish...

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. I just posted my February "Nasty Bits Recipe of the Month" (an Anthony Bourdain tribute, of course) on my website and coincidentally (or maybe not) it's a Sichuan-style dog meat recipe. (All the recipes I have for dog start with "cooked dog meat", but of course we all know how to cook dog.)


                                                                                                        1. The thought of eating a cat, dog or horse truly grosses me out. I've had all three as pets and could not comprehend sitting down to a dinner and chomping away at Fido, Morris the Cat or a horse. The only 'dog' I'll eat is a hot dog!

                                                                                                          Perhaps horsemeat became very popular when horses were a means of transportation and farm workhorses so when they passed, poor people/farmers consumed them. It still personally grosses me out.

                                                                                                          Talking about horses, that very sweet Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, was put down today. I'll miss him - a real trouper

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Flynn1

                                                                                                            so sad about Barbaro, what a magnificent horse. I am not a horse racing fan, but was pulling for him to heal, and live

                                                                                                            A side note, where I live(illinois), a trailer carrying horses to a slaughter house in Illinois was involved in an accident, and the horses that survived were all rescued, and nursed back to health, and are now being put up for adoption in my area. THus being saved from that horrible fate.

                                                                                                            They are being put up for adoption by The Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, IL.

                                                                                                          2. Well....if you mouseover my little avatar.....you can probably guess that I don't exactly consider rabbits to be "borderline-companion" animals, as stated above.

                                                                                                            I have issues with eating some meats for sure - no rabbit, horse, dog or cat for me. I also have issues with eating factory-farmed meat....be it cows, pigs or chickens.

                                                                                                            I couldn't kill my own food, and would never be able to hunt, though it's pretty much certain that the hunted animal lived a much better life than those who you see so nicely packaged and sterilized in the grocery store.

                                                                                                            I will eat things like duck, goose, bison, but don't care for deer or moose (not ethics in this case, just taste). You could ask for a method behind my madness, but there isn't really one - I eat what I am comfortable with, and since I'm only accountable to myself and my own conscience, it works out. :)

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: mrbunsrocks

                                                                                                              My mom is a vegetarian. If I had to kill & clean my own meat, I know I would be. I (shame on me) try not to think about where my meat is coming from. But my mom has said many times that if she ever did eat meat again, she'd be more likely to eat game because at least it had a chance. Farm meat is food, period.

                                                                                                            2. I'll eat anything that tastes good as long as my consumption of it does not contribute to the imminent demise of the species so far as I can ascertain (chilean sea bass etc.) As a chef, I'm not at all squeamish about how my meat gets to the table, having butchered chickens, ducks, quail, squab, turkeys, lamb, pigs, goats and steer. Yet for some reason I have to shield my eyes at parts of "CSI" or "House" because the (fake) blood skeeves me out something fierce. I suppose it all comes down to empathy, and where animals are concerned, I figure I'm at the top of the food chain for a reason. If a cow or horse would like to knock me from my perch, I'd suggest they get cracking on the opposable thumbs and cognitive reasoning.

                                                                                                              1. I ate man's friend 2 weeks ago at a restaurant that specializes in this. All the rumors I heard about it were true. It is more nutrious than beef or chicken...even lamb. You do get warmer after eating it and you do get full so you can't eat too much of it. The meat expands and you shouldn't eat till you are full. I heard that women shouldn't eat dog. I don't know the exact reason, but this is what I was told. I heard that after you eat dog, other dogs will stay away from you even one that has been your pet.

                                                                                                                My friend offered to take me to a cat and rat restaurant but that was too much adventure for me. I had enough adventure that will last me some time.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: designerboy01

                                                                                                                  where is the restaurant that you speak of? don't tell me it's here in the US? (perhaps you are keeping mum about this for a reason, in which event, don't bother to answer this) seeing as how you had the chance to go to a cat and rat restaurant, you are/were most probably elsewhere.

                                                                                                                  what you describe about eating dog jibes completely with my experience. it is deceptively filling. as i mentioned in my post above, i managed to weather an entire winter without getting so much as a cold - which is unprecedented for me - after my dog eating experience.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Polecat

                                                                                                                    Its in Baguio in the Philippines. Its in a very non-descrip place. See photos.
                                                                                                                    First one is the menu. One of my friends asked to see the head but they said they don't have it because its illegal. Second one is dog soup which I had to admit was pretty good and savory. Third one was the meat and the fourth one was with the bones and had tendons on it which was more sticky. We had this with red rice.
                                                                                                                    To be honest I only liked the soup. It would taste better if they cooked it with red fermented tofu chinese style. I did feel really warm the next couple of hours. Chinese say it is very nutrious. I took the photos with you people in mind. See even on my trips I remember you CHers. I'm just going to say I had hotdogs next time. I know I ate man's best friend. But they raise them for eating at this place.

                                                                                                                    I didn't go eat cat or rat. I'll leave that for another trip. I did eat one day old chickens which was a little difficult but I did it. I'm used to balut now.

                                                                                                                    The Chinese do have a Dragon Phoneix Soup which is made out of Eel and Cat. I read in the newspaper in NY that there was one restaurant that the police or health department did a search and asked what the frozen cat was doing in the refridgerator. Do you understand why there is a hidden menu now!

                                                                                                                    1. re: designerboy01

                                                                                                                      It's dragon, phoenix and tiger soup, popular at wedding banquets. Chicken is the phoenix,eel the dragon, and the tiger is civet, a wild distant cousin of the domesticated house cat. Civet is one of 54 wild species approved by China's government for eating, and is also hunted for its fur. Serving domesticated cat would be illegal; I'm not saying its never been done, but most accounts should be thrown in the urban folklore bag.

                                                                                                                      Maybe you should stop reading The Daily News.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                        No my parents have eaten Cat soup in China. They served it several years back in flushing in NY and they called it Dragon Phoenix where it is Cat and Eel.

                                                                                                                2. Let's see, I've had monkey and dog in Asia. Wouldn't purposely do it again unless there was no option.

                                                                                                                  However, horesemeat sashimi (Basashi) in Japan is an absolute delicacy which I will eat any time I get back for a visit.

                                                                                                                  I guess I'm just able to make a conscience distinction between pet's and food.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                    You can get "Cheval Tartare" at a Belgian-style frites chain in Montreal called Frites Alors!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                                      I know this is an old thread, but I just thought I'd mention that horses are not food. The reason this is important, besides the fact that they are companions is that they are not raised as food and throughout their lifetime receive many carcinogenic medicines which clearly state: Not to be used on animals destined for human consumption". I'd think twice about eating horse, not matter where it's served.

                                                                                                                      1. re: elgianne

                                                                                                                        You are talking about the US. In other places they ARE raised for human consumption. We're talking about centuries old tradition.

                                                                                                                  2. i could never eat cat, dog, horse, rabbit, etc. to me, these animals are pets not food.

                                                                                                                    1. I think that any true dog or cat lover would never ever dream of eating their pet!!! As you can see from my avatar, I am a 100% cat lady! Pets are different from animals that are raised to be consumed! And no, pigs do not have as much personality as a cat. You cannot snuggle with a pig on your couch.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: clim212

                                                                                                                        umm.. ask George Clooney about that!

                                                                                                                      2. When I lived in Japan I used to watch a traveling show. The crew was often in China -particularly Hong Kong's upscale restaurants. A popular dish was salad served w/LIVE silk worms ...YUM? .And, in the Yakitori where I worked in Japan...popular, horse sashimi, pick your own frog (they had a small pond), kangaroo testicles, fried bumble bees and sauteed locusts...NO JOKE! Never mind the LIVE Dojo's (small fish) men would allow slither down their throats while counting their sake shooters.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Kitchen Queen

                                                                                                                          You don't have to go to Japan for a "pick your own live frog" experience. Mott street between Grand and Hester, on my way to the best Bahn Mi in Manhattan( 138 Mott), I have to pass numerous plastic tubs full of them.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Kitchen Queen

                                                                                                                            They sell canned silk worms at most Korean markets. Its a popular snack in China. I usually see it in two sizes. I think its better when it is eaten spicy and stir fried. I had it in Korea steamed and it wasn't that great.

                                                                                                                          2. In no paticular order
                                                                                                                            beef, chicken. lamb, pork, shark, other fishes, eel, rabbit, horse, snake, possum (the Australian kind), crocodile (not a pet? Speak to Steve Irwin about that!), buffalo, wild boar, turkey, frogs, quail, partrige, grouse, deer (wild and farmed). goat, duck, goose, witchety grubs (taste like savory marshmello.. kinda like lambs brains), phesant.. ummm.. and that just offa the top of my head.

                                                                                                                            And that's not even talking about various anatomical bits such as testicles and other glands.

                                                                                                                            and if you count shell fish as pets, the list gets WAY longer.
                                                                                                                            And because I live in Australia, I get to eat BOTH animals on our national emblem.. kangaroo and emu.. whadda place!!!!

                                                                                                                            1. I have to disagree with earlier poster who said pets are inherently different from animals raised for consumption....the only difference is the way we define and treat it. A pig can be a pet or for food, or both. Pigs are actually quite fun when they're not miserable in a cage. Rabbits, however, just are not as people-friendly.
                                                                                                                              I did have a pet hen and 2 rabbits as a kid...but a cook we had killed it when I was not looking. He probably never made the distinction between pet and food, like most people of his generation who had starved in the army during wartime. I have to say, that was the first time in my life I turned down fried chicken. Not that the finished product didn't look good, but after witnessing the blood draining and hearing the horrendous sound that a bird makes as it is slaughtered - that memory stays with you. I think he found it funny I got attached to an animal. I think it's the witnessing killing part that deterred me, not so much they-were-once-pet part.
                                                                                                                              Anyways, the point is, only thing that separate pet and farm food is human sentiment. I, for the most part, stay away from meat all together now. But if one day I'm starving in some wilderness, I will have no hesitation in slaughtering for my own survival - whether it's pig, dog, or cat, it really doesn't matter. The system for acceptability is quite arbitrary anyways (exceptions being overhunting/environmental conservation reasons).
                                                                                                                              Oh before I forgot, the same cook we had also caught some pigeons. I think it was one of the most delicious thing I ever ate - the meat was pretty tender and had a fatty, almost buttery, mouthfeel to it (ok, I'm relying on oooold memory). We would only have it for New Years in the winter, it was considered to be quite nourishing. I don't know how he prepared it - I wonder if it is what they called bu2 ru3 ge?

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: zorgclyde

                                                                                                                                a friend of mine ate whale lasagne in Tromso in Norway. I refused to taste it. He said it was good.

                                                                                                                                I think eating animals is partly to do with how you were brought up and what is considered normal in one's culture and partly how inquisitive you are. I personally can't eat shellfish, to me they look like pink insects but then I was raised not to eat them. I also would not like to eat animals considered to be pets. But then Hindus don't eat cows and for the western world it is a normal meat.

                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                  I'm part-way curious to try whale. I've done investigating on the internet, and have found out both interesting and troubling things about eating whalemeat.

                                                                                                                                  My main reason never to eat whale would be due to it being an endangered animal. I know, both Japan and Norway claim that Minke whales are plentuful in numbers, but that's part of the deliemma. How exactally do you know just WHAT KIND of whale you are eating? Maybe you are eating Minke, maybe your eating a dolphin, or pilot whale, or Sperm whale. Even orca might be on the menu, and how could you be sure what you were getting?

                                                                                                                                  Studies have been done on Orca meat, and it's apparently quite high in contaminates in the blubber. Not high on my list of things to ingest, there.
                                                                                                                                  Also, how old is the whalemeat your getting? It could have been in a deep freeze from 5 years ago...I have a feeling that woulden't taste fantastic.

                                                                                                                                  There are a few whalemeat resturants still in Japan. If I manage to go there again, I just might try it.

                                                                                                                                  Not ever going to knowingly eat dog or cat, but have been told by those who have eaten it, that horsemeat is quite tasty. I'd probably try that, if given the chance.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Honeychan

                                                                                                                                    Only thing I have ever eaten besides the usual was rabbit and reindeer and caribauo sausage,sorry for the misspelling.These we got when my dad was stationed at Elmendorf AFB.Seem to recall they had it in the commisary.
                                                                                                                                    The rabbit he bought at the commisary ,it was Pel-freez brand .They had a recipe for honey curry rabbit which is very good.
                                                                                                                                    I know my adad had eaten dog and horse meat once.The dog when he went with a fellow soldier to visit the guys family.It was in Oklahoma and this man's family was native american.The hosre was at a Korean restaurant in Salt Lake City,Utah.
                                                                                                                                    I recall daddy saying he had eaten swan and camel and other stuff.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Honeychan

                                                                                                                                      I had whale once. Not excellent. Pretty blubbery (go figure). I'd eat it again if I was told it was a better preparation. I'm willing to try just about anything. While I love cats and dogs, I'd try it in the right setting. Horse too.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                      Misigisaq Restaurant, in Sisimiut, Greenland, has whale cooked Sichuan style. (Bet you din't know they have whales in Sichuan).


                                                                                                                                  2. According to Steven Ambrose, the Lewis and Clark expedition really favored dog meat, as did some of the Indians they met along the way, eventhough they brought along a dog as a pet. So they distinguished between dogs as a staple and dog as a pet. Of course they also each consummed 20 lbs of meat a day and all of them died very young (before 40's).

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                      20 lbs. of meat a day? How could anyone eat 20 lbs. of ANYTHING a day?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Humbucker

                                                                                                                                        Extremely hard physical labor. And then you die.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                          20 lbs of meat a day??? Haha...did they die young because they didn't find fiber? Or was that really the point of the expedition...20 lbs of meat a day and the search was for fiber.

                                                                                                                                    2. I've tried donkey before. My cousin went on a trip to China and brought some back. It was very gamey, very smelly, tough and not all that pleasant. At least I can say I've tried it before.

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vegasbuff

                                                                                                                                        Wow. Very illuminating discussion, especially about dog. I'm an animal lover, but I refuse to sentimentalise my food. I haven't had the opportunity to travel in the Far East, but I'd certainly be game for dog. I just wouldn't mention it to Rover when I returned home. The idea of cat doesn't appeal, but I'd give it a shot. Anything from the ocean - anything - is fine by me, as would be anything from the sky.

                                                                                                                                        I have had caribou, moose, wild deer, and to those who have expressed dislike, I have to say that it depends when and where it was shot, as the diet has immense influence on the flavour of the flesh. I have had excellent meals of all three. I remember the caribou once having a 'mossy' flavour, the next time, not at all. Rabbit, domestic and wild, is good stuff, dependent on the preparation. There is one restaurant here in Toronto that I've visted over a half dozen times, and I always have the horse fillet. When I was in South Africa I had kudu (a large antelope), which might be the best meat that I have ever tasted, springbok, zebra (not as horse-like as you might imagine - quite strong, actually), and warthog. I'm not fond of crocodile, but I suspect the preparation was at fault.

                                                                                                                                        I did have real coq au vin (i.e., a real, mature rooster) at a friend's restaurant here in Toronto, and it was an entirely different experience from the usual iterations. It was much more flavourful. I'd highly recommend it! Mmmm. And a good excuse for a good pinot noir (as if one needs an excuse).

                                                                                                                                        When I was at the University of Toronto, I stumbled across a book that had recipes for porcupine, squirrel, possum, beaver, etc. Sadly, I lost the bibliographical information.

                                                                                                                                        Cheers, 'hounds!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                                                          You just reminded me of something: cut up pangolin for sale in the market in Savannakhet, southern Laos. One of few things I've seen but not tried.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                                                            Hungry_Pangolin (love the name, btw!)

                                                                                                                                            Have you eaten at The Carnivore, in Nairobi? I've heard it quite good, even if it's done buffett-style. Lots of exotic meats, carved to order. I've heard Kudu and Springbok are tasty. I'd love to try it all, if I get the chance to travel to Africa.

                                                                                                                                            I'd love to hear if any Hounders have eaten at The Carnivore.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Honeychan

                                                                                                                                              I've eaten at the Carnivore a few times. But didn't I just hear on CH or from friends that the place is closed or doesn't serve the same meats for some reason?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                Once my dog killed a Canada Goose & I was very tempted to try cooking & eating it but chickened out at the last minute. I often pass large frogs, leopard I believe on the way to the fishing hole and wonder if they are edible. Anybody know?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                    Damadchef, I agree with Sam Fujisaka - you should have cooked your goose. It doesn't require any special attention, just typical for game fowl for roasting or braising. Why did you chicken out?

                                                                                                                                                    I don't know about frogs.

                                                                                                                                                    BTW - A friend of mine is coming for dinner tonight, and I'm doing moose steaks from a moose a friend of mine shot last autumn. I'm serving them with a brandy/cream/green peppercorn sauce, with a 10 y.o. pinotage.

                                                                                                                                        2. I had horse steak only once, at age 8 in Alsace. It was amazingly good, I don't think I was the one that ordered it - but there were a number of memorable dishes at that meal that I was allowed to try and probably required an additional order of: lamb kidney made into a cold sausage and tarte flambee cooked over a wood fire, the horse steak was thin and had some kind of gravy with it, it was called "roast bif" but it was assuedly horse meat. Amazing food - proven by the fact that I remember that one meal from age 8.

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                                                                                                                                          1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                            You guys are right of course, I should've cooked that goose. It was the end of the day & i'd just gotten home from work...wasn't sure how fishy Canada goose would be considering their diet and that's alot of work defeathering those big birds. I've done defeatherings of small partridge & grouse in the big stew pot but I don't have a pot at home big enough to fit a Canada goose.
                                                                                                                                            Is it legal to eat/ shoot a Canada Goose?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: damadchef

                                                                                                                                              The legality of killing a Canada goose was the subject of violent debate at one of the locals this past winter. I didn't think it was legal, but someone produced a photo of some friends with fresh kill. That's not conclusive proof, but it seem to be OK. Besides, in your case, if anyone asked, you could blame your murderous dog. ;-)

                                                                                                                                              Since my last post (jeez, that sounds ominous!) it occurred to me that I have seen live frogs in China town. It was a place on the south side of Dundas, east of Spadina. I remember it was a cold day last winter, and the live frogs were in a large styrofoam box, a great cloud of steam rising from them. The Chinese call them "ting guy", which means something like field chicken, or something. I'm sure that someone here will correct me on this. A Cantonese friend of mine said that they stirfry the flesh with garlic, ginger, and green onion. When it comes to something like frog, I would go to a commercial supplier rather than hunting my own, but perhaps I'm being uncustomarily squeemish.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                                                                                                I didn't even know you could eat those type of geese! very interesting. I have only had goose once and thought it was delicious - I cooked it for thanksgiving a few years back.

                                                                                                                                                Do you think canadian geese taste weird because they eat a lot of different items and people feed them bread and stuff?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                                                                                                  I don't think that I'd eat an urban Canada goose, frankly, just because they'd be more likely to ingest something not very healthy. I meant to mention in the previous post to damadchef, that the Canada goose is mostly an herbivore both on land and in water. They will occasionally eat small fish, but it's a very small part of their diet, so fishiness shouldn't be an issue.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                                                                                                    We used to hunt Canadian Geese in California legally in a limited season and after obtaining permits/stamps and hunting licenses. Delicious, but agree that plucking is a lot of work.

                                                                                                                                            2. Haven't had dog, but I did eat Elephant biltong in SA as well as Oryx and Gemsbok. The Elephant was really odd tasting [to me]. Not exactly yummy. The Oryx and Gemsbok were really nice, very flavorful and savory.

                                                                                                                                              1. I used to have a neighbor that was a taxidermist,and hunting guide....that guy ate everything, he had us over one night and had grilled mountain lion....we passed!, he ate badger,Ibex,lotsa stuff,i think John would eat almost anything.

                                                                                                                                                1. I would guess that, at least for Western cultures, there's a strong tendency to avoid eating animals which have other uses. Cats hunt pests, horses can be ridden and used to plow, dogs for protection from other predators, etc. Horse meat is taboo for most because they are so danged valuable alive, at least until recently.

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                                                                                                                                                  1. re: uptown jimmy

                                                                                                                                                    In developed industrial economies, people tend to eat animals that are specifically raised to be eaten. There's not much point in raising carnivores (i.e. dogs and cats) for meat -- you might as well just eat the meat you feed them! Meat from carnivores is always going to be marginal -- either raised on a small scale for a specialty market or culled from a feral population that's feeding itself of small prey and scraps. As you point out, horses are more valuable for other uses, so most horsemeat comes from horses that have past their useful lives (and therefore probably isn't as palatable as meat that's been specifically raised to be tasty and tender). I believe horses also eat more relative to their weight than other animals more commonly used for food, which means the amount of feed that goes into creating a pound of horsemeat is probably prohibitive for raising them specifically for food.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                      Exactly. And chickens and such are so much cheaper than horses, and reproduce so much more quickly.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I ate dowg in Korea...Gamasot Boshintang to be precise, which judging by the rib I found in it, it must have been the size of a large rat, or even a rat for that! I decided to take a stroll on an evening off during a recent business trip and hunted down the nearest place which was likely to have it on the menu. I believe the dish was actually "dog soup" with the bones bubbling in a pot on one side of the table and a pile of rubbery meat under some greenage on the other side. It tasted dirty and insipid, and the dog meat was pretty unappealing. Sadly, it wasn't covered in loads of chilli and garlic like a lot of other Korean food, which I love - I would try it again if so - if not I'll give it a miss!

                                                                                                                                                    1. Some years ago, down in the Argentine, "they" served "us" (a bunch of gringos") unborn calf. No one accepted the dish but in retrospect it was prob. like veal. Also, apropos of the "cuy" (guinea pig) mentioned above. We're not talking about that cute little thing in your kid's cage, running around that wheel for 24 hrs. a day. We're talking about an animal the size of a small dog. And very good eatin' i must say.

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                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chaz

                                                                                                                                                        that Agentinean dish sounds revolting...however would you know you were eating a healthy animal if it wasn't born yet?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                          I've had a tiny veal rack in a restaurant and worried that this is what it was... "underutilized cuts" is what the beef industry calls it. It was just ok, plus the worry.

                                                                                                                                                      2. My husband had raw horse sashimi in Japan and assures me that it is not as good as it sounds....

                                                                                                                                                        1. When I was a kid in Vermont visiting a friend of my parents, I ate bear. Unfortunately, I don't remember what it tasted like, but my mother said it was awful. At that same friend's I also regularly ate fresh-caught frogs' legs, raw steamers (though those came from CT not land-locked VT), and lots of venison.

                                                                                                                                                          My dad, a 10th generation Vermonter, used to hunt deer as quite a few "real" Vermont men do, but when my older sister was young he watched "Bambi" with her...and that spoiled him for hunting from then on. He would still go on hunting trips with "the guys" but somehow could never bring himself to shoot a deer after that.

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: vermontpoet

                                                                                                                                                            Awwww--Bambi!!! (sniff)
                                                                                                                                                            I used to work with a guy who made a trip to - China(?) and said he was eating something DELICIOUS in a restaurant, and he asked the servers what it was. They started laughing and making dog barks and sounds. Didn't bother my friend, though - he said, "Dog is f_ckn' GOOD!!!" Whatever -
                                                                                                                                                            BTW, he said he also had cat while he was there, and didn't like it at all.
                                                                                                                                                            I myself, the most adventurous things I've eaten are: rabbit, ostrich, and wild boar.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I have eaten horse in France. I bought what appeared to be a tenderloin from the local butcher and roasted it. It was much like beef but a little sweeter and very tender.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I don't eat meat, but i've never understood the aversion people seem to have to eating "cute" animals or i guess those commonly used as domesticated animals. Some of the same people who'd quickly scream their heads off about seal, have no problems trotting into the grocery store to purchase a slab of calf. If you're going to eat animals, you eat animals.

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                                                                                                                                                              1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                yeah, I understand that point. I do believe, however, that it depends on the cultural context. I will not eat cat, dog, or horse -- for the reasons other people have pointed out. Are cows cute? Totally, but I've never had one sleep in my bed (far as I know), or spent days and weeks on their back exploring forests and plains together....

                                                                                                                                                                Otoh, I will not give someone shit if they have eaten those animals or eat them regularly. Who am I to judge? Now, if you went out of your way to cruelly kill that cat/dog/horse, I WILL judge you, but just for eating it? psha.

                                                                                                                                                                I do not eat veal -- not because of their cuteness (after all, lamb is one of my favorite meats, and they're pretty damn cute), but of how they are "raised".
                                                                                                                                                                As a general rule, I try my best to stay clear of meat that has been "raised" and/or killed inhumanely.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                  Good point, but it misses one of the overlooked imperatives of eating animals vs. keeping them as pets or as part of the labor force. The extreme aversion to eating dogs, cats, and horses in Western culture is down to the fact that these animals were so incredibly valuable alive.

                                                                                                                                                                  In older times, here in the South, even cows were seldom slaughtered and eaten unless they got too old to be useful as milkers or even to pull plows. Same with chickens: most families ate them only occasionally, maybe on Sundays, and then it was usually the old chickens that made the cut, so to speak. And the ready availability of undomesticated meat sealed the deal, I guess. Squirrel tastes good, deer tastes good, rabbit tastes good, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                2. A new study suggests that it was Chowhounds in southern China who first domesticated the wolf and thereby gave the world the dog.