Friday, March 15, 2013

Great Britain: They aren't eating our beef here

Pubs start selling 100% horsemeat burgers in wake of the scandal... and they're a hit!

                        Chelsea Davies of the Lord Nelson enjoys the horse meat burger. It was introduced a fortnight ago

Two pubs in London have sold hundreds since horsemeat scandal hit
  • Owners say diners are driven by curiosity.

From a New Zealand perspective this isn't such a great development. Beef magazine reports

" There’s definitely been a backlash with supermarkets and processed beef in the UK; consumers want more transparency and are turning toward trusted beef suppliers, which include British, U.S., Australian and New Zealand beef,” he says."

If the British develop a taste for  horsemeat the we can bang another nail in our export driven recovery coffin. I have never eaten horsemeat but I remember Primo Levi describing capturing and eating a horse in The Truce 

The Truce, which is published in a single volume with If This is a Man, is the account of his liberation from the camp in January 1945 and the eight month trek across Europe before he reached home. First sent east into Russia, it seemed Levi and his companions would be submerged into the chaos and devastation of Europe at the end of the war, till finally 1,200 Italians boarded a train in Romania for their final journey home.

The Truce changed many of of my pre-conceived notions and one of them was from the description of eating the horse.  

  • Sizes vary between the 2oz taster-size Shetland at £4 to the £11 Triple Trojan

4 pounds is just over $7.00 NZ ( 16,000 Ugandan Shillings ) about what I would expect to pay for a beef burger in a pub however the Triple Trojan would need to be something special  at over $20 NZ ( 43 868 Ugandan Shillings ).

Pubs in London have begun to serve horse meat burgers - and found them to be a huge hit with customers.

One pub said demand is so high that it is selling more than 100 in a week. The scandal of horse being labelled as beef has actually helped increase demand for the meat.

Maybe it will catch on in New Zealand. I would certainly eat one. Not sure how NZ regulations would handle it though. For the moment though horse along with snake and crocodile remains on my want to try list.

The Lord Nelson in Southwark introduced the dish a fortnight ago, while The Three Compasses in Hackney began grilling 100 per cent horse meat burgers earlier this week.

The Three Compasses serves the patties with black pepper mayonnaise, onion, lettuce, pickles, Emmental cheese, ketchup and a fried egg.

Chef Michael Brown - who described the taste as ‘very much like beef in texture and ever so slightly gamey’ - said 50 burgers sold out in hours on Tuesday night.

I am getting hungry just reading this.

Owner Lauren Johns said: ‘All across Europe, horse is considered a high-quality meat.

We thought it’d be nice for people to try it and realise it’s really nice if prepared and sourced properly.”

There are four sizes of burger named on an equine theme, from the 2oz taster-size Shetland at £4 to the £11 Triple Trojan. The meat comes from France.

The Lord Nelson serves 8oz burgers with mushrooms and onions for £11. Extra toppings include goats’ cheese, brie and jalapeno peppers. It reported selling more than 100 in a week.

Co-owner Benito Priolo said: ‘It’s leaner and denser than beef and points in the direction of liver.’ 

For £16, the pub serves the 50/50 Burger - which involves one burger each made from horse and beef.

If we can grow beef we can sure as hell grow horsemeat. 

Hat Tip Nnenna Amushan at Womenstyles 


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