According to one French chef, horsemeat isn’t disgusting, nay merely tolerable. It’s “delicious.”
Amid the scandal currently rocking Europe over horsemeat that’s unexpectedly shown up in frozen lasagna and Burger King hamburgers, among other places, the case for eating equine has found an outspoken supporter, The Guardian reports.
French chef Martin Leman, who runs restaurant Chez Sophie in the U.K., says he’s actually increased the amount of horsemeat on his menu recently, offering 100 percent horsemeat burgers.
“It's delicious, like rich beef,” he told The Guardian. “Our customers ... asked us what it tastes like, so we brought some in."
His opinion may be informed by social norms in his home country, which is less squeamish about horsemeat than the U.S. or the U.K.. In fact, horse butchers in France, while less common now, still serve customers who prefer horsemeat since it's “much tastier than beef,” as one fan tells the Associated Press.
But it’s not merely a Gallic guilty pleasure, where it still makes up only 0.4 percent of overall meat consumption, according to the New York Daily News. Instead, it’s China, Kazakhstan and Russia who are the biggest consumers of horsemeat, according to National Geographic. In China and Kazakhstan, it’s often made into sausages or dumplings.
If that’s starting to sound actually kind of good, just make sure you’re ready for what food writer Waverley Root calls a “lingering sweetness.”
“[It] is not disagreeable but is disconcerting in meat," she’s quoted as saying in NatGeo.