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Who's tried horseburgers?

Are they really any different than horse-free burgers?

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  1. The French have eaten horse meat for years. Unfortunately, some people, who ate the 'burgers' recently sold in the UK, got sick, but that's another story.

    3 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      but the sickness has nothing to do with the actual meat....

      Horsemeat has a very distinctive flavor -- and seems to be a love-it or hate-it -- nobody is "meh" about it. (I'm in the latter)

      1. re: sunshine842

        I didn't mean to imply that the sickness had anything to do with it being horsemeat. No one really reported what made the people sick.. not that I know of. It could have been they had a virus.

        1. re: zuriga1

          England has had a horrible epidemic of norovirus (intestinal) this winter...after a while it gets hard to separate what actually caused what!

    2. I've eaten horse meat burgers and roasts/steaks etc while living in France. If you like a more 'gamey' flavor. which I do having been raised eating pretty well anything wild that moved, then you'd probably like horse. It's excellent braised with lots of onions and tomatoes and fresh herbs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Puffin3

        I'll be first in line for chevreuil, pheasant, lapin, biche, cerf, and sanglier. My dad hunted when I was a kid, so I grew up on venison.

        But I'll stick to salads if it's horse. Doesn't taste like game *at all* to me.

      2. I had a couple of bites of someone's in Slovenia. I felt "meh" about it. I wasn't inspired to order it.

        1. I've definitely eaten horse burger and horse steak - sold even in supermarkets here in Qu├ębec. I'm not particularly fond of it though; find it oddly sweet. Moreover, I'm concerned that a lot of horse burger uses horsemeat from animals that were treated with antibiotics and other drugs, without the safeguards required for livestock raised for meat.

          I much prefer bison as a source of lean red meat. I don't eat much red meat, but if I do, it is likely to be a bison burger or small steak.

          1. To me, your question is, does horse taste different than beef? The answer is yes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: carolinadawg

              Actually, I posted this on the UK board.

            2. http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=ht...
              Horse meat does have a sweet/bloody flavor IMO but it's not hard to hide those flavors with onions/red wine and herbs.

              1. Twenty five years ago I was studying in Spain. After a few months we were excited to see a fast-food like restaurant. The hamburgers tasted a little different but we didn't care. When we got home, the woman we lived with told us it was horse meat. We also had horse carpaccio in Japan (I'm sure it's not called that!) and it was very good.

                1. As mentioned it tastes sweeter and due to a lack of fat is far leaner and thus drier. The way it works in France is same as beef, you pick your cut and they grind it for you in front of you. Easy to cook.
                  Also had horse sushi in Japan was interesting, would not say great as they did not use horse filet and that is one of the few tender parts.

                  1. This question was intended for the UK board, but a moderator has put it, unhelpfully, where people in the UK are much less likely to see it.

                    Anyone on this thread in the UK?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: knucklesandwich

                      actually, it's in exactly the right place -- horsemeat is consumed far more frequently in France than in the UK -- and you've gotten numerous responses from people who have eaten horsemeat..which is exactly what you asked.

                      1. re: knucklesandwich

                        So you are referring to the specific incidence of horsemeat tainted burgers from a plant in Ireland? If so, almost all the burgers had only minuscule traces of horsemeat in them, so I doubt there would be any perceptible taste difference.

                        1. re: carolinadawg

                          the most recent articles I've seen this week (various European news sites) have put it at 4% horsemeat. They'd taste like beef.

                        2. re: knucklesandwich

                          As knucklesandwich had originally posted to the UK board, I presume her/his intent was to discuss our current national scandal of horsemeat appearing in cheap and nasty burgers. However, as mentioned, the mods have unhelpfully moved it to here so the original issue is unlikely to actually get much discussion unless, like me, other Britons accidentally come across the thread.

                          So to respond to the OP - no I haven't eaten a horsemeat burger. As has now been established, it was "value" burgers that were affected by what can only be interpreted as fraud on the part of the Polish (?) supplier of the "filler". I have never bought "value" meat products much preferring to buy a premium product if its something I'm actually going to eat. Anyone who, in recent days, has read of the process by which the meat is collected for these downmarket products will probably reflect on whether they really are "value". But, of course, the retailers target market for these products are not folk like me who can afford to indulge their food choices but, rather, customers on very limited budget with families to feed.

                          The scandal now widens in the last couple of days, with Burger King confirming that horse DNA has been found in the production facility in Ireland (although no trace has been found in tests on product in the retail outlets).

                          The next issue to be faced is the confirmation from the Food Standards Agency that traces of pig DNA has been found in products purchased as halal, by the Prison Service.

                          1. re: Harters

                            this should be posted on both boards, perhaps

                            1. re: toodie jane

                              As we've already told knucklesandwch by email, if someone wants to start a discussion about the horse meat in burgers controversy in the UK category, it would be fine to do so in keeping with our policy of allowing discussion of local news stories in regional categories, but please make that clear in your question that that's what you're doing. It would be fine to ask people their thoughts on the controversy, and include a link to a news story if you needed more context.

                              We assumed knucklesandwich genuinely wanted to know what horse meat was like, so we moved the thread to General Topics, where it's gotten a number of relevant answers.

                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                Thanks for the clarification, mods. Our British style of humour, as portrayed in knuckleduster's wording of the thread has, clearly, not translated well into a more international context. Hopefully, we will now have the presumed intended discussion on the UK board.

                        3. I haven't had horseburgers, but I tried horse steak in Italy last time I was there - it was quite good, I thought. The flavor was similar to beef, but a bit stronger and slightly gamier. Very lean, but not dry at all. I would be happy to have it again, in steak or burger form.

                          1. I am English and I have had horse meat willingly - both burgers and steaks. As already stated, the taste is much "gamier" than beef steak. I have also eaten water buffalo and it is more like horse than beef.

                            Being English, the French seem to have a habit of serving horse when we ask for beef. ;-)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: PhilipS

                              Thank you, Phillip.

                              I originally placed this on the UK thread, in connection with the recent stories about frozen, horse-adulterated burgers that have the media in an uproar.

                              I don't suppose you tried one of them, have you?

                            2. horse is delicious, and widely consumed across many countires e.g. northern italy and southern france. in northern italy it is often possible to enjoy tagliata di cavallo instead of mazno, in verona pastissada di caval (a horesmeat stew dating form 489AD). Horse tartare is also delicious as the meat is lean and sweet, not gamey. In france there are often horse butchers and you can buy all sorts of custs and of course hache (burgers). the only problem for the UK is that citizens have a hang up about consuming horses as food, possibly related to horses being instruments of wealth and power belonging to the privileged elite

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pecandanish

                                I have a hangup about eating horses but it's not because of the aristocratic angle but because they're nice like pets like dogs like cats like family. And not too bad-looking either. They're wonderful creatures.

                              2. Horse meat, carne di cavallo, is a delicious meat if cooked correctly. I had horse steak last week in Padova, Veneto. Te restaurant "Dal Capo" in the old ghetto is a fine restaurant that serves traditional Dishes of the Veneto. I prefer rare steaks and this was juicy, somewhat sweet and very tasty.

                                I only eat horse meat in Italy, since it is organic,(cavallo carne biologica) and not an old nag that is shot up with anti-biotics, pain killers, etc. safer to eat than commercial, conventionally raised beef, pork and lamb.

                                1. Raw horsemeat (ba-sashi, or "sakura") is a fairly widespread dish in Japan.

                                  1. In Portland, Oregon we used to have a horse meat market...As a single Mom it was affordable...
                                    The steaks were delicious...as were all the other cuts including the burger....Really wish it was still available....
                                    I love horses..grew up with horses...It's more dense, like venison...

                                    1. I've had horse meat in southern China. It was thin raw slices meant for quick-cooking in a hot pot. If I didn't know better, I'd be hard-pressed to say it wasn't a beef tenderloin. It had a slight tang to it that I may have been imagining.

                                      I suspect a blindfolded taste testing of various lean meats from different quadraped animals would show that they all taste pretty similar.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                        not horsemeat, but this Mythbusters video is of Tory and Grant testing the whole "tastes like chicken" idea....since neither one of them are professional tasters, it' kind of interesting http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/myt...

                                        Although I still think alligator tastes like chicken. Tough, chewy chicken. More impressive as bragging rights than as actual food.

                                      2. Are we really so bored w abundance that we are curious about companion animal meat....cat meat? dog meat? How about exploring the under utilized bits of our established proteins?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: julibelle

                                          an awful lot of the world eats horsemeat -- including a number of Western cultures generally considered to be extremely civilized.

                                          1. re: julibelle

                                            Well, beyond the fact that I'm fonder of my 17-year-old tomcat than of most humans, there is also the problem that cats and dogs are carnivores, so "top-of-food-chain" concentration of toxins.

                                            He'd be awfully tough in any event...

                                            1. re: lagatta

                                              There's no way we could eat our dog -- he's spoiled rotten....

                                          2. I had ba nigiri (horse sushi) last night, and it was delicious as usual. Moist, sweet, and buttery. Don't let your love of the animal get in the way of trying it. They are raised as food in some parts of the world, just like cattle.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: technicle

                                              Where did you have the ba nigiri last night? Are you living in Japan?

                                            2. Not tried horsemeat but, last year, in Northern Italy I had a pasta sauce made from donkey. The restaurant (and several others nearby) also had a number of horse dishes. It was OK, but I wouldnt be in a rush to order it again.

                                              1. Had horseburgers about 40 years ago in Morocco, where ground meats and supermarkets were not widely unavailable. I found the meat slightly gamey (say, as lamb is to beef) I liked the flavor. Somewhat sweeter than beef, and with a softer, stickier texture than a cooked ground beef patty would have. I can't see it widely catching on as most people are now used to blander corn-finished feed lot beef.

                                                1. I prefer eating horse over beef. As long as the breed is reared for human consumption. The particular breed raised for consumption in Europe are marvelous to look at. Their hind quarters are very developed. They remind me of the Belgium Blue of cows. In Europe they marinate the cutlets in olive oil, vinegar, lemon and herbs. Then flash grill it for a few minutes. I think it is delicious and does not conjure up any notion of being gamey.

                                                  Sardinia is my favorite place for horse.

                                                  1. Horse meat is considered to be a good luck gift for newlyweds because it's suppose to make the husband 'horse-like' in bed. I've had horse sashimi and even horse ice cream, but sadly don't remember much about it because it was way back when I was a kid.