A few years a back, IKEA was rocked by a scandal involving horse meat in their meatballs. While much of the western world blew up, I never found it to be a big deal – mostly because I didn’t think I’d mind eating some horse. The taboo around horse meat largely exists in the USA and United Kingdom. The farther you go outside of these countries, the more acceptable horse meat and horseburgers become. In some places, it’s even considered a delicacy.
But I recently found myself somewhere the taboo doesn’t exist. Arriving in Ljubljana, Slovenia I got my first, second, and third bites of horse meat. In Slovenia, horse meat is considered a delicacy.
Near the border of city center and along the outskirts of the Park Tivoli, you’ll find a fast food spot for horseburgers called Hot Horse. As I walked up to the restaurant on this beautiful autumn day – I couldn’t help but notice the lady offering pony rides across the lane from the restaurant. I really began to wonder if that particular specimen would be my next meal.
Much like any other fast food joint, you can select a combo meal – I took mine to go because it was an NFL Sunday (an American habit). While watching the Cleveland Browns lose as per usual, I sampled the taboo meat. The taste is similar to beef, but holds distinct differences. The meat itself is definitely more gamey as well as chewy. I ate the burger without much hesitation – pretty much my method of consumption for anything deemed “questionable” by the West.
Further research showed me horse meat is quite healthy – a far better alternative to beef when you want a more lean, muscular meat. It generally lacks all the hormones and antibiotics you find in beef, chicken, or pork nowadays. Meanwhile the burger was quite enjoyable, I wouldn’t place it over a beef burger in taste. I’m not sure if that’s my American pallet, or just not enough experience with horse meat overall.
I’d certainly eat horse again, but it’s likely because of the novelty rather than the taste.
What’s some of the strangest things you’ve eaten?