food

It’s the year of the horse, so let’s… eat a horse!?

29 Comments
By Joan Coello

2014 is the year of the horse, according to the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac animals play an important role in Japanese new year traditions, even though they no longer follow the Chinese lunar calendar. Themed goods featuring the zodiac animal of the year can be seen almost everywhere you go when the new year comes around. Yokohama originated bakery Pompadour created this adorable horse character bun for the occasion!

Wait, what? There’s real horse meat in it?!

The Japanese have been known to eat horse meat, especially enjoying it as "basashi" (horse sashimi). But the raw delicacy doesn’t come cheap and definitely doesn’t commonly appear on the dining tables of regular families. This cute snack, Uma no Pan (horse bread), makes the pricey meat available at an affordable price of 189 yen. And word is, it’s selling like hotcakes.

But how does it taste? RocketNews reporter Chie tries it, and this is her verdict:

The horse has an adorable face.

The savory snack fits in the palm, is decorated with shredded leek for a mane, and raisins for its eyes, giving it a cute and kind look. Plus, it’s a charming white horse! Fresh out of a fairytale.

There is horse meat in it.

This horse bun has a savory filling of horse meat stewed in soy sauce and sugar. Horse meat in a horse bun, this thing’s the real deal! The bread has a soft and chewy texture, which matches the flavorful filling in perfect harmony. The raisin eyes add a timely burst of flavor and boosts the overall satisfaction factor! It’s kind of similar to eating a steamed meat bun, but this meat bun would taste just as fine left cold.

There’s also a sweeter “Snake Bun”.

Last year was the year of the snake, so they made a snake character bread to commemorate the passing of the year. This one’s shaped like a coronet, with a comical head attached to it. It has a pudding cream filling (no snake meat, don’t worry). Unlike the horse bun, the bread for the snake bun is slightly sweet, fluffy and soft, striking a great balance with its cream filling. This one’s yummy too!

The question is, cultural differences aside, could you bring yourself to eat a pastry containing horse meat?

Reference: Pompadour

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Try this Year of the Horse roll cake -- Celebrate the Year of the Horse with a creepy horse mask -- “Slime” Flavored Gum Now on Sale in Japan

© RocketNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


29 Comments
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What's the biggie? If you can eat any kind of good-tasting flesh, why should you care what the living animal was? If it's bred for food, then eat it and don't make childish excuses about pets and cuteness and intelligence... Otherwise, stop eating all flesh, regardless of its deliciousness (oh I miss chicken...)

6 ( +8 / -3 )

its simple - you always have to insert your non meat eating ways into articles discussing meat eating.

4 ( +5 / -2 )

Horse is actually quite yummy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What? Not organically pesticide free, raised on vegan tears enough for you cleo? Horse is pretty tasty and better to eat than sending to the glue factory. Happy Year of the horse!

2 ( +5 / -4 )

Since the article mentions cultural differences / preferences re. eating the flesh of certain animals, then surely any poster may comment on the immorality and nonsensical superstition behind it ("Hey! let's eat something regardless of whether we like it / need to eat it, for reasons of, er, astrology."), as well as the illogical sentimentality of most carnivores ("I couldn't eat ....., it's a pet.")

If you're going to eat pork, beef, chicken, turkey, then you should have no qualms about horse, rabbit, dog, rat! I look forward to to seeing those on the convenience shelves in future years!

2 ( +3 / -2 )

Since I have chosen not to be vegetarian - a lifestyle I by the way tried for 8 years and i still consider way more morally and logically defensible than my feeble rationalisms about horses being pets - I can only cling to compartmentalizing my actions with vague arguments that sound much like sentimentality than sound reasoning. So, all I really have to add to the discussion are old school Western-centric biases about which animals are more or less sentient - are more able or less able to comprehend pain inflected on them when they are killed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Far rather eat snake than horse. For me a horse is kind of a pet.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I would never eat horse. Horses are pets - it's like eating a cat or a dog to me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the manner in the way the animal is slaughtered doesn't make that much of a difference

Your own legislators disagree with you. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act demands that animals be slaughtered humanely, with a minimum of excitement, fear or suffering.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Back home horsemeat is a stable food, love the taste of it. And yes those horses were raised for their meat.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you're going to eat pork, beef, chicken, turkey, then you should have no qualms about horse, rabbit, dog, rat! I look forward to to seeing those on the convenience shelves in future years!

The black plague seems like enough of a qualm for me to not want to eat a rat. The others would be ok I guess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you're going to eat pork, beef, chicken, turkey, then you should have no qualms about horse, rabbit, dog, rat!

But what if you do have qualms about eating pig and cow, which are mammals, and especially the pig, which is quite intelligent?

I have a reason for avoiding the eating of certain animals and its quite separate from anything that is mainstream scientific or traditionally vegan. It is simply that certain animals have an affinity and usefulness to man and a history that proves it.

This is quite on par with the reasons we don't eat people. The eating of people will lead to disrespect of humanity in general. And then when we need those people as friends, we won't know how to treat them in a way so as to help us. You never know, we may need horses and dogs for hunting and war again one day, but if we turn them all into food livestock, finding that more profitable than traditional uses, there won't be any time to retrain them if we need them for war or hunting.

And if that is not good enough, there is training our children about love and respect via pets. I don't know about you, but I find the sentiments to be sorely lacking among these horse eaters who put their dogs outside on the coldest winter nights. If I found myself beaten up and bleeding in a ditch, I would not expect any of these horse-eating Japanese to come aid me anytime soon. But if they had grown up surrounded by certain choice animals? Yeah, I did. Horses, dogs and cats especially. I learned a lot about being a kind caring human being, not only through caring for them, but even directly from them. I can't pat a horse on the head and then turn around and eat another horse. I have a heart. You might even say I have a soul. And I don't purport to have been born with them. I learned to have them, just as people can learn to not have them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The black plague seems like enough of a qualm for me to not want to eat a rat.

If there were a market for it some enterprising soul would breed a flea-free rat, just like other enterprising souls have bred chickens carrying so much meat they cannot walk, and mice guaranteed to develop cancer (for medical 'research')

The eating of people will lead to disrespect of humanity in general.

You think people in general respect people in general? Maybe you don't pay much attention to the daily news? It's quite harrowing.

we may need horses and dogs for hunting and war

We may need them to help us kill other people? What was it you were saying about respect for humanity?

there is training our children about love and respect via pets

I'm all for teaching kids about love and respect (and responsibility) via animals. Hard to explain love and respect to animals when Daisy/Dobbin/Dolly/Foghorn Leghorn are sitting dismembered and steaming in a stew on the table.

I would not expect any of these horse-eating Japanese to come aid me

Would you rest easier in your ditch waiting for those horse-eating Frenchies/Romanians/Belgians/Germans/Italians/Dutch/Norwegians/Icelanders/etc/etc to come to your aid? Or is your distain only for horse-eating Japanese? (Of whom there aren't actually all that many - in 2010 Japan produced some 3,700 metric tonnes of horsemeat for human consumption, compared with some 53,000 mt produced by Russia, 69,000 mt by the US and also by Mexico (most of the horses slaughtered for consumption in Mexico being US exports), 73,000 mt by Kazakhstan and 171,000 mt by China. http://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-producers-of-horse-meat-2013-2)

I learned a lot about being a kind caring human being

So did I, but kind and caring to all living creatures, not just the select few my parents allowed in the house.

I can't pat a horse on the head and then turn around and eat another horse.

I can't pat a horse/dog/cat/budgie on the head and then turn round and eat a cow/chicken/turkey/pig.

Funny how people draw their lines in the sand in different places.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No thanks

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, I'll pass for preference to the tried and true beef tenderloin but....I feed horse meat to my dog quite regularly. It sure looks good..lean and priced right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, in one bite you can get a combination of cold bread, raisins, leaks, and horse meat stewed in soy-sauce and sugar. Anyone who thinks that is 'perfect harmony' needs their head checked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

After watching Mr. Ed, how can anyone eat horse meat?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm all for eating whatever you like, I hunt, I love meat, my kids as well. If it tastes good, why not. Horse when done right, actually tastes great!!! And if horse meat is not your cup of tea, that's your prerogative. I respect people that don't want to eat horse meat , if they so choose, but give us that do the same respect, you have you have your beliefs and we have ours, simple!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No. I disagree with you. If people simply don't care about the loss of life - usually in a very cruel manner, and if people don't teach their children to consider where their food comes from, then that's a problem worth discussing. It simply isn't "simple" where killing is involved. And it shouldn't be.

Well, you can disagree with me and that is your right, because I choose to hunt and eat what I want, whether you eat chicken or beef, the manner in the way the animal is slaughtered doesn't make that much of a difference, end result is, the animal was killed, the animal is dead. I'm not about to go vegan! nor should I have to

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No need to get all stompy bass4funk! We're having a discussion. I'm not telling you what not to eat, you can do what you like - but why be so hypersensitive to other opinions?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All readers back on topic please. The subject is eating horse meat in Japan, not how animals are killed, nor is the thread about vegan vs non-vegan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In any case, whatever happened to the 'simple is best' expression here? The food in the pic sounds like a monstrosity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just as well they don't have a Year of the Whale!

Not that that would stop anyone...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

you have you have your beliefs and we have ours, simple!

No. I disagree with you. If people simply don't care about the loss of life - usually in a very cruel manner, and if people don't teach their children to consider where their food comes from, then that's a problem worth discussing. It simply isn't "simple" where killing is involved. And it shouldn't be.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Your own legislators disagree with you. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act demands that animals be slaughtered humanely, with a minimum of excitement, fear or suffering. Humane methods of slaughter cannot be guaranteed or even hoped for on the high seas.

Whatever, tell that to the hundreds of cows and chickens we eat worldwide that suffer being locked in these tight cages and cows getting hit with a nail gun or killed by electrocution. These methods are NOT painless or less. The nail gun IMO would be the best option or a bullet to the head, when done properly, the animal will be dead before it hits the ground. Slit its throat, it will take awhile.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wouldn't eat this, but not because it contains horse. I don't like leeks, and I'm not a fan of mixing fruit and meat. Call me a philistine if you like, that's just me. If those two were removed, sure, I'd eat it. Maybe. Wait, drop the soy sauce. There we go, that's better. Sorry, I'm a really fussy eater. But yeah, I have no problem eating horse meat. It's supposed to be healthier than beef anyway. I read in te papers during the whole Horse meat scandal that horse meat actually has a very low risk of (I think) E-coli. I don't remember exactly what anymore, it was a while ago now, but I think that was right.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Horsemeat is delicious!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Ugh.

-4 ( +4 / -7 )

Not organically pesticide free, raised on vegan tears

What on earth is that supposed to mean?

It's a dead animal. No different from eating dog or cat or hamster or cow or budgie or next door's toddler.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

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