Unique Global Cuisines

Unique Global Cuisines

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japanese man chopping sushi

When it comes to eating, Americans are nothing if not adventurous, and they are growing more adventurous every day. America’s food is as varied as the people who live in this country. It is not uncommon to walk into the smallest town in small-town America and be presented with food ranging from Vietnamese to Mediterranean to Indonesian. While Americans tasting food is constantly growing, there are still some things that are considered by the majority of people to be taboo or off-limits. Interestingly enough, in other countries these foods are considered mainstays or delicacies. The following is a list of some of these foods.

Horse Meat

In 2013, international news was all a flutter reporting that in some European markets beef products were being sold that had traces of horse meat in them. As soon as this news broke, it seemed as if the entire Western world collectively gagged. As the investigations continued, it became clear that everything from meatballs to beef lasagna that was being sold in Europe was tainted with horse meat. Immediately, regulatory organizations began demanding stricter oversight and condemned this unthinkable act of serving horse meat to the public.

The Western world’s aversion to eating horse meat in part stems from a decree made by Pope Gregory III who in 732 banned eating horse meat. From the Vatican’s standpoint, eating horse meat was a pagan tradition, and therefore, something to be avoided.

Interestingly, though, not everyone around the world shares the same repulsion to eating horse meat as do most Americans and many Europeans. In fact,countries like Mexico, China, and South Korea horse is a important part of the diet.
The horse meat that is produced and shipped in these three countries is used by people around the world. South Korea has many popular dishes that are made using the flavor from the fat that is found in the neck of the horse. Additionally, basashi is a much sought after Japanese dish in which horse meat is served raw. Horse meat is popular in places such as Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, and many other countries around the globe.

As far as taste is concerned, horse meat is described as having a sweeter flavor than beef. Although horses are extremely muscular animals, horse meat is not tough. In comparison to other red meats, it is very lean. It is said to have a rich flavor, and it is a great source of iron.

Lion Meat

The lion is known as the King of the Jungle. When we think about a lion, we think about it feeding on prey that was too slow, too small, or too weak to get away. However, when many people look at a majestic lion, they see something much different, they see dinner.

Lion meat is served both in the United States and around the world. Mokutanya, a Japanese restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Burlingame, added lion meat to their menu. They were selling $70 lion skewers. The meat was extremely popular. In fact, the restaurant sold out its entire supply in just one week. Diners describe the taste of lion meat as a mixed between beef and chicken. They say that it is a little tough, but that it has a very strong flavor.

Obviously, not everyone is in favor of lions being consumed as food. Many organizations have lobbied to have African lions put on the endangered species list as opposed to the threatened species list. This would make consuming lion meat illegal in many countries, including the United States. However, for now fans of the meat eagerly flock to any restaurant that features lion on the menu.

Dog Meat

In Western society, the idea of eating a dog is considered barbaric. Dogs are considered to be intelligent, loyal companions. Because of their close interaction with humans, many people view them on a level that is above livestock animals. There are many animal rights activists who fight tooth and nail to stop countries from taking man’s best friend and turning him into man’s favorite meal. However, while eating dog may be a no-no in the West, there are many countries around the world where eating dog is considered socially acceptable.

Dog meat is described as having a sour and salty taste. It is said to make the eater feel warm. Eating dog meat has been connected to strength and virility. In countries like South Korea and China, upwards of 10% of the population includes dog meat in their diet.

Joe Kurth works for Mile High Trailer Dealers. Joe grew up riding horses and working with large animals on his Dad’s Yak and Cattle ranch. Joe also loves to travel and usually spends multiple weeks every year out of the country visiting countries like China, England, Brazil and more.
Image courtesy of JitBag

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