I am fairly sure that this node will sound like "Memories of a Happy Cannibal" to many people - more the pity for them: you wanted an international Everything ? You wanted me to node what I know ? Here it goes:

Equophagia: the pleasures of eating horses

It is well known that the Anglo-Saxons do not eat horse meat. In their culture the horse enjoys a very privileged "pet" status, which nonetheless does not protect it from being ground up and fed to other pets either as frozen ground meat or (more discreetly) as dry pet food. Nor did its "petness" keep the old nag from the glue factory.

Anyway, other cultures (among them the Italian and the French) are not quite as squeamish when it comes to eating horse.
One should observe, though, that even in these cultures horse meat is considered something different, to the point that Italian and French law mandates that there should be special equine butchers, with different premises.

How to eat horse

Horse meat is usually dark red and quite lean, without much marbling.
This means that the greatest problem in cooking it is that it tends to drying and becoming fibrous and chewy. An undesirable outcoume.
That is why horse steak should be cooked very quickly in a very hot pan, with some cooking fat. Don't barbecue it !

Another good technique is the pot roast:

For a pound of lean horse meat, cut an equal weight of onion in rings (this may sound like a lot of onions, but they shrink, believe me).
Sautee the onions, one chopped carrot and some garlic in oil (not butter: it would burn later).
After ten minutes, put the meat in the pot and cover it with the onions.
Cook well covered on a very low fire, barely enough to keep it sizzling. Turn the meat every quarter of an hour, and check that the onions underneath it do not burn.
There should always be some liquid at the bottom of the pot. Red wine can be added at the beginning.
It should be done in about one hour.
After taking the meat out of the pot, you can puree the vegetables and the stock to produce a tasty gravy: or you can serve them as they are, as a side.

Ground horse meat can be simply sauteed until it turns gray, maybe with some onions.

But the greatest delight is certainly raw horse meat, either ground and spread on bread with some olive oil, pepper and salt or served as a carpaccio.
Of course this requires high quality horse meat, although horses do not carry the wealth of diseases that pigs do.

Horse meat: a personal memoir

When I was a kid, I lived in Parma. Buying horse meat was the first outside chore I was entrusted with by mother. I was maybe eight, and I would proudly walk (or pedal) to the Macelleria Equina one block away, and buy "3 hectograms, ground horse, first quality".
Checking that the 300 grams did not include 10 grams of wax paper was my introduction to the subtleties of commerce and fraud.

Of late there has been a 'scandal' in Europe, where it was discovered for example that 'beef' being sold in a major UK grocery chain actually contained a substantial portion of horse meat (and pig meat, and as it turned out even goat, donkey, and water buffalo). The citizenry is outraged, embarrassed apologies have been made, inquiries have been promised by involved companies and government types. It turned out that even Burger King was buying meat from a tainted supplier, though no sign of whinnying has yet been detected in BK fare, but not long thereafter, Nestle joined the panic, pulling horse-meat-infused beef ravioli and beef tortellini products from European shelves. And Ikea stopped the sale of Swedish meatballs (prompting one noted blogger to observe, as quoted by Conan O'Brien, that those outraged by horse meat in Ikea meatballs ought to first ask themselves why they are buying meatballs in a furniture store).

But, at the end of the day, how odd from a more worldly perspective that people would be at all offended to discover horse meat in their hamburgers -- as though eating the flesh of a horse somehow differs on some hidden hierarchy from eating that of a cow. I must concede that I too have eaten horse meat, though I knew exactly what I was getting when I got it. Astute observers might note that I am a vegetarian -- and indeed I have been for thirteen years -- but for over two decades before that, I was as avidly carnivorous as the next guy. And as vegetarian I have come to be equally baffled by the whole spectrum of meat-eating. Naturally, there was a time when I, too, was a meat eater, and in my day I sampled such fare as iguana, toucan, rattlesnake, and capybara. I've eaten what is eaten in parts of the world with differing tastes, in Japan, in Southeast Asia, in Peru.

And in all of my experiences, despite the ephemeral distinction in flavors and textures, I never encountered a discernibly deeper fundamental difference, morally or biologically, between eating the flesh of a horse or donkey or goat, and that of a cow, a pig, a dog, or a hippopotamus. Arising as they do from a universal common ancestor, over the course of evolution, what separates the horse from the cow is little more than the length and thickness of bones. Amino acids generated by startlingly similar DNA, all of them. Horses might not be 'raised to be eaten,' but they are probably even healthier fare given the things manufacturers now put into cows, to fend off the super-bacteria in which they wallow, and to make them fatty and faster-growing. So, while I will never again seek to eat the flesh of a fellow animal, nor can I put reason to the notion that eating some barnyard regulars is fine, while eating the meat of the horse is objectionable, bordering on the criminal.

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