Monday, June 8, 2009

Horse, of Course!

After my trip to Amsterdam, I was seriously let down. The classes weren't what I was expecting, the ladies of the Red Light District looked just like Go-Go girls & the food kinda sucked. Sure there was Indonesian food around, and I will report on that later, I promise. But what I really wanted from the Netherlands was horse.

When I was in university, one of my good friends was of Dutch parentage and we exchanged stories of our childhood. He was forced to eat horsemeat sandwiches, a tribute to his Friesan heritage. He hated this aspect of his heritage. Horses are beautiful animals, why on earth would you pack them in WonderBread & give them to a kid was a mystery to the young adults we were. Well, with this story in mind, I set off to find some horsemeat. Only on my way to class on the very last day, battling traffic, did I see a butcher shop which looked like it sold horsemeat. After trying to get out of the city for 45 minutes, ther was no way we were going to stop the car, look for a spot, buy some meat & let it wait in the car for 6 hours while we were in class, then a further 4 - 8 hours until we were back in Germany. So, no horse for me.

2 days later, I went to Strasbourg & exlpoited my credit card - the poor thing - I think I heard it cry. In the supermarket, I saw horsemeat. South American steaks. In my whirlwind effort to buy groceries in 30 minutes, I threw 2 horse steaks in the cart. When I got home, I tried nearly every excuse to avoid eating them. I saw dancing horses in the Dutch countryside - I didn't want to eat one of their kin! Well, I had already bought the meat, and I know that the stuff is eaten in the Veneto in Italy, as well as other parts of the world (South America, Quebec, Mongolia, even German Sauerbraten was originally made from horse). OK, fine, I'll do it.

I marinated the steaks for about an hour in olive oil, garlic, herbs de provence & a bit of tapenade (my failsafe "safe" marinade) and threw them on the grill. The result - not bad. Leaner than beef, better flavour than ostrich. In short - a decent meal. Am I happy I can check this off of my things to do list? Yes. Do I need to do this again? No.


Cathy said...

I love horsemeat sandwiches! I know I never spell it right, think it's rookflaas (smoked meat??). I have yet to find it in Calgary but my best friend regularly overnights me some from Vancouver :)

taste traveller said...

Those are the kinds of friends you keep! :-)
Maybe next time I'll try the smoked meat, but the guy I was talking to from Rotterdam looked at me like I was crazy when I mentioned it to him. He says that the Friesans are *different* (yes, he used that tone in his voice) ;-)

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