Saturday 21 April 2018

Lisa Markwell: You think horsemeat is bad? We eat much much worse already

Surprise! Your cheap, grey, uniformly textured and anonymously flavoured frozen supermarket burger contains horsemeat. Since it was reported that some supermarket burgers contain horsemeat, there’s been outrage and wisecracking in equal measures (although presumably not from people who eat those burgers).

Excuse my lack of sympathy – but what did you think they were made of? Frankly, horsemeat is a far more appealing prospect, nutrition-wise, than the mechanically recovered cow bums and lamb nostrils. By now I expect you’ll have heard every horsemeat joke and pun you could imagine… and some you couldn’t, if you’re on Twitter. But once the laughter has subsided, there is a serious point to all this.

I know from friends that have eaten it, that good quality horsemeat is rather like venison – lean, dark and with a good flavour. It’s no accident that in Paris (where cheval has been on menus since forever), the meat is having a renaissance in restaurants like Le Taxi Jaune, thanks to a young chef with big ideas. Then again, I imagine the meat that ended up in the economy burgers was hardly thoroughbred.

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