Eating Horse?

I am just trying to put a picture up of some basashi.  Basashi is horsemeat served like sashimi.  It sounds different but it is actually very common in Japan and quite delicious.  A lot, if not most, of izakayas serve basashi.  I suppose over the course of the year they all would serve it at some time because of seasonal changes to the menu. 

Raw horse rump at the top left and horse ham centre right

Raw horse rump at the top left and horse ham centre right


Horse meat is a really important part of European cuisine as well.  In Puglia, for example, horse meat is the main traditional red meat.  Horse meat has its own subtle flavour and can bring an interesting angle to a meal.  Since changes in flavour and texture are so important in Japanese cuisine, it plays a really important role.


I read that Australia processes and exports about 30,000 horses for consumption in Japan.  A bizarre fact is that it is illegal to serve horse in Australia – even though it is a delicious and healthy part of a meal.  Even more bizarrely, no reason is put forward as to why it might be illegal.  It is perfectly healthy and if it wasn’t humane, we wouldn’t be allowed to export it, would we? 


Unexplained, ignorant laws like this are part of why food in places like Australia and the US lags a long way behind Japan, France and Italy.  Gordon Ramsay promoted the eating of horse in the UK and I wish he would do the same in Australia.  I am not advocating that it be made compulsory!  But at least it should be an option for those whoe horizons are a little wider.


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