I could eat a horse.

Channel 4, like the BBC and other broadcasters, has a viewer enquiry team who handle calls, letters and emails from members of the public on a variety of issues from “my picture looks funny” to “I can not believe you are going to transmit a programme that endorses the consumption of horsemeat.”.

The horsemeat quote is in relation to a the new series of Gordon Ramsay’s F Word, in which Janet Street-Porter (who let’s face it is a touch equine in appearace) buys some horse meat in France and gallops back to the Cheltenham Festival to set up a catering stand for hungry race goers. It’s part of a strand in the programme where she looks at other sources of food such as goat meat (very popular with Africans and West Indian’s in this country) . Surely we can all see this is publicity stunt surrounding what is actually a very interesting issue. There’s been things like this before, ‘Cooking in the Dangerzone’ had dog, seal, etc. 10 years ago people thought sushi was disgusting, most still do.

There were a handful of other calls on the same subject, and no doubt Channel 4 will get more post-TX. Bare in mind that this hasn’t TX’d yet.. it’s going out on May 22nd I believe. So what people were annoyed about (surprise surprise) is the idea of something that they’ve read in the papers… Metro had it’s usual rehash of the Evening Standard’s piece claiming a ‘new row over Ramsay’s horse BBQ’

Actually Jane Fryer’s piece at least acknowledges the fact that horse meat was regularly eaten in this country until the end of the war. I read somewhere that it was sometimes sold as ‘French Beef’ as us English sure do love a euphemism.

Michele Hanson in ‘Comment is Free’ asks ‘Gordon Ramsay wants us to eat horses. If you must have meat, why not make it greyhound?’ (First catch your greyhound) as well as a ill thought out rant for turning vegetarian.

I’ve eaten horse (on a pizza in Venice). And I’d eat pretty much any other animal too. Hey in Peru they eat guinea pigs – we eat rabbits, who cares, as long as it’s ethically raised, not endangered, tasty and you’re hungry. The British have such an bi-polar relationship with animals, witness the recent Sony Goat debacle where a goat bought from a butchers was used as a prop in a PR launch, and the story was again whipped up by… the Daily Mail. It’s like we’re returning to the Victorian attitudes, where ‘it was incorrect to comment on the food before one, even in praise, on the ground that such remarks would be too naked an expression of ‘animal and sensual gratification’. (source: Drink. By Andrew Barr)

Now if you want to see sensationalist eating of horse flesh in the cheap name of entertainment.. see this section of Fear Factor, where two ladies have to eat cooked horse rectum.And here’s the recipe, thanks internet!

KARTA – horse rectumFrom the Kazakhstan National Cooking Web Page

INGREDIENTS:* 100 g of karta* salt* green pepper or dill to taste

PREPARATION:The thick part of the rectum is washed without removing fat, then carefully turned inside out so that the fat is on the inside. The meat is washed once more and both ends are tied. Karta can also be dried and smoked. To dry it karta is covered with fine salt and kept in a cool place for one or two days, then dried. Karta is smoked over 24 hours, then dried over 2-3 days. After washing it well, karta is then boiled for 2 hours on slow fire. Before serving it is cut into rings and decorated with green pepper or dill.

Yum bring on the Horse Bum!

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DISCLAIMER

These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
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