Horse Meat is Not a Delicacy in Europe

Please folks, especially those on the anti-slaughter side of the argument, stop repeating the falsehood that horse meat is a delicacy in Europe.

It is not.

I know that it makes the whole business sound more depraved and decadent if horse meat is a luxury good, but it’s not. In the parts of Europe where it is eaten, it’s no more special than beef, chicken, pork or lamb. Indeed, I can’t even buy lamb in my local supermarket. These cheap horse sausages, on the other hand, have been on the shelves since I moved here:


Published by Susanna Forrest

Writer Amazons of Paris, The Age of the Horse and If Wishes Were Horses.

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  1. It ‘s quite clear that you ‘ve never visited the place where I live: the province of Padua and the whole Veneto region, in Italy. Here horse meat really is the base ingredient of many delicacies and a pride of the local cuisine. Moreover, its price is higher than any other kind of meat: higher than beef or pork. Thus it ‘s quite a luxury good people reserve for traditional events and important dinners with their families. But you can find it served at restaurants too, in many tasty dishes; and they ‘re not at all among the cheapest specialties.

    1. Hello Neteagle, thank you for popping by. This post was a response to the anti-slaughter rhetoric in the US that paints Europeans as somewhat depraved gourmets who smack their lips over meat Americans shouldn’t touch. As I pointed out, and as we have discovered in the last month, horse is often a very cheap meat indeed. Of course there are areas of Europe (it being a big old continent) where it can be a delicacy, but it’s also a mass-produced supermarket sausage and ready-meal lasagna, and before 2013 that would have surprised a lot of people in the States. I’m surprised that the price is higher than beef, given the current scandal and the rise in beef prices in recent years, but if the meat is more appreciated in Padua/Veneto and is traditionally a delicacy in the region, then I guess it will cost more. The context of this post is the export of the flesh of US horses who have no further monetary value in America, and not for homegrown, purposely raised local Italian horses. I don’t think the horse meat exported from the US would be much prized in your region.

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