The first attempt was in vain. When Polish friends heard an offer to taste dry horsemeat just brought by my handsome half from Switzerland, their made particular facial expression and shaked their heads. A horsemeat?!? Flesh from a hourse?!? In Poland, where a horse is next to the dog the best human friend, and Hussars’ tradition deep in our hearts, where the cavalerly Uhlans stopped by the window to visit a lady* and a favourite chestnut mare Kashtanka of Marshal Pilsudski? No, no – in Poland it’s sacrilege, nuriture deadly sin. In Poland WE DON’T EAT HORSES.
So, the second attempt was a trick – Adam brought dry meat straight from Switzerland. So soft, red like a beef, very tasty. You wanna try? Just meat, no additives and preservatives, only in herbs and salt and it got dried by itself. Bought directly from the butcher, he made it himself. So they were lured. And even liked it. Just like everybody else tasting it for the first time in sweet ignorance of what they just ate. Cause a horsemeat is a very tasty meat. In Poland – on one hand – not appreciated at all (it’s the worst sort of meat eaten by barbarian Tatars** or during war hunger).On the other hand – described with brutal pictures of nonhumanitarian transport of live horses destinated for slaughter.
In Switzerland we eat horsemeat, mostly in south Ticino, probably due to the neighbourhood of Italy, where this food is also very popular. In central part it’s much more difficult to buy it. At the beginning I was also very sceptical, but because I have already eaten in Cambodia innocent chicken boiled still in eggshell, I’m not scared of anything else. And I fell in love in horsemeat immediately. I know, horses are beautiful and are made for ridding – I used to ride it myself till I fell off and a horse smashed few my fingers. And that’s not why I went to the dark side of the force. Horsemeat is simply very healthy, rather lean (horses are not bred) and tasty. And even our friend, who runs a stud farm, loves horsemeat and does not treat a dinner with cold cuts as eating the best friend. It’s like eating a rabbit. You can play with it at home or you can eat it for a dinner.
Agh… I forgot that in Poland we don’t eat rabbit either. Agh…
Ps. Horsemeat and other cold cuts we buy at Macelleria da Pippo in Claro, in canton Ticino (Tessin). In a very direct translation it means “Butchery at Pippo” and just like the name simply suggests it’s a very chic meat shop with home made products. Pippo is a professional, serving his customers almost in tuxedo and always with a smile. For Christmass his wife served cookies and coffe. He also has his Facebook page and logo with a smiley pig.
Ps.2: If you wanna see real horses in friendly Swiss atmosphere, not afraid that the owner will eat them, you can visit La Finca farm in Ticino.
*Traditional Polish military song dated 1914 The Uhlans stopped by the window to visit a lady
** I don’t know how much the story about barbarian Tatars eating horsemeat is real, but my dad always said the Tatars placed under a saddle raw horsemeat, that was “naturaly” preserved during long crusades. When they were hungry, they pulled up stirrup and cut a big part of meat without even touching the ground. And that is why we eat know tartar as a raw meat.