September 2008


Don’t look that gift…

A week or so ago I popped into the big REWE supermarket located in downtown Weimar.

It’s always a bit exciting to visit one of the larger supermarkets in town because they offer so much more variety than the ones within a ten minute walk of my apartment. I was looking in the meat case at the variety of meats when I noticed a rather large stack of meat labeled “Pferd”. Needless to say I was a bit taken aback to see a stack of it for sale.

The “it” being horse meat.

The only time I can recall having encountered horse meat before in my life was as a child in a children’s book. In Henry Reed’s Babysitting Service, Henry is forced to prepare a BBQ party for one of his clients. From the client’s fridge he finds a package of ground meat, makes burgers, prepares a fire, cooks dinner, and saves the day. At the end of the chapter, the client reveals that he had used the dog’s horse meat for the burgers. Naturally it’s set up in such a way that American children feel slightly queasy at the thought of eating horse meat.

I managed to forget the horse meat on display until tonight.

After dinner I popped down to the Weimer Office for some tea and to read a book (which is blog-worthy, just not today), and after drinking my tea I poked around the shop, looking at the new stuff for sale, which, much to my surprise included milk chocolate, only the milk in the chocolate is horse milk.

I suppose on an intellectual level I can imagine the existence of horse milk—surely foals drink their mother’s milk, just as human babies drink their mother’s milk—however the notion of milking a horse for its milk has never entered my head. It seems a bit unseemly to my American eyes, stomach, and mind.

Needless to say, I didn’t buy any of the horse-milk-chocolate; nor did I buy any of the lactose-free chocolates made by that company.

It will take me a day or two (maybe more) to wrap my head around this one.

8 comments to Don’t look that gift…

  • This particular display wasn’t next to the aisle where they sell glue was it?

  • Ed

    My neighbor had a baby that was allergic to all milk and formulas until they tried Mare’s milk.
    Many stores get “beef” from Australia. Beef in Australia includes Horse meat.

  • koko

    Gross. Gross. Gross.

  • bek

    Growing up, my mom would occasionaly buy us Pferdeleberkaese when going on a long shopping tour. She considered it as something special. It never grossed me out, since I didn’t view horses as pets. Didn’t taste bad either.

  • DId you see the story about PETA requesting Ben and Jerry’s to make icecream out of breat milk? Like the idea of horse milk, I’m still wrapping my head around that one.

    PS. I’m having a hard time bringing up you site’s home page.

  • @cq: No glue in that section of the store, unless you count the stuff holding the plastic pizza together.

    @Ed: I wonder how hard it is to find Mare’s Milk in the States; it’s got to be a specialized item.

    @koko: errr….

    @bek: It’s got to be cultural. Of course there are parts of the world where people eat scorpions… I’ll pass on that…

    @Diane Mandy: I’ve heard discussion from Dan Savage about making cheese from breast milk. It’s not done, that I can recall. Thanks for the heads up about my homepage. It seems I upgraded something that went a little wonky. Hopefully it is fixed now.

  • Horse milk, really? I guess I never really thought about it. But here in Hungary, they eat pig and cock testicles – I have a friend that really loves it. Once you hear that, *which I thought was a fear factor type treat*, horse milk doesn’t sound so bad.

  • jen

    NWY….cocks (i’m sure you mean roosters, right?) have testicles? really?

    horse=food=ick. NO NO NO NO NO and HELL NO. i’m so glad i’m a vegan.