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Ed Schwartz: Just Horsing Around

March 15, 2013

Ed Schwartz

Sayulita, Mexico - As you likely know, if you read the New York Times, there is a dreadful scandal in the European Common Market. It's all about horse meat found in meatballs purchased at an Ikea store. I thought Ikea sold furniture with funny names like a sofa named Rathgaard, so this was news to me.

Soon the various countries were crying "foal" and pointing fingers at the guilty parties. Which country was adding horse meat? Romania? Apparently many countries had a real beef about it.

The scandal has now reached the mane stream press.

Since the regulators in Belgium even rule on the shape of bananas, this horse meat scandal was serious, mane-ly in Britain where beef rules and horses are for fox hunts, not dinner. Now the EU is saddled with a real problem about labeling. 'Neigh, neigh," is the cry.

The French think this is much ado about nothing. Horse meat, in some Froggy circles, is considered a delicacy. Obviously, it is a cultural thing-in Scotland many enjoy the haggis, and what that is made of you don't want to know.

Oh, you do want to know? Haggis is mostly chopped up sheep's heart, liver and lungs with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices, all stuffed in a sheep's stomach then cooked. Folks who have tasted it (not I, for sure) say it has a nice nutty taste. I accept that opinion on face value.

Robert Burns, the great Scot poet, wrote a poem about the haggis. No one ever wrote a poem about horse meat, so I will now rectify this issue.

I would not eat a dinner treat
From a horse that now is meat
Why discuss this fiddle faddle?
I'd rather eat the horse's saddle.

Yes, this feature contained a lot of puns. Go Nash your teeth.

Ed Schwartz has been involved in many aspects of fine wine for 30 years and has worked with top wineries in California, Italy and France. His writings on wine, food and travel have appeared in the SF Chronicle, LA Times and Image magazine.

Click HERE for more articles by Ed Schwartz

•  R E A D E R S '  C O M M E N T S  •

According to the media, Ed, some people stirrup and bridle at the idea of eating horse-parts. Others, however, are spurred to do so. As the world's population continues to increase and cow- and pig-parts become harder to come by, you can expect that people will, bit by bit, accept the idea of eating horse-parts. - Bert