|It's Friday. Don't forget your horsemeat. |
From the January 22, 1920 issue of Arbetarbladet.
This beautiful horsemeat was for sale every Friday and Saturday back in 1919 and 1920 in Gävle, Sweden, according to a recurring ad in the newspaper Arbetarbladet. I don’t know how long this ad ran. My research has nothing to do with advertisements, the food being eaten by or marketed to the working class, nor does it have anything to do with horsemeat. That being said, the phrase “Horsemeat. Beautiful horsemeat.” will apparently catch my attention in Swedish. (Although, I still don't know if it should be one word or two. Horse meat? Horsemeat? Horsemeat.)
The US tends to recoil at the thought of eating horsemeat. I’m painting with broad strokes here, but plenty of people view horsemeat as akin to slaughtering cute baby seals. Kicking puppies. Hating freedom. Devising dastardly deeds. It’s taboo, to say the least.
|I'm accepting hand modeling gigs.|
That ad for beautiful horsemeat may have been from 1920, but the horsemeat industry is alive and kicking (see what I did there?) here in Sweden. Turns out that about 400 metric tons of horsemeat is imported to Sweden every year. On average, Swedes eat 200 grams of horsemeat each year. That’s not a whole lot per person, but, considering horse slaughter was illegal in the US for several years (legal again since 2011), I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s probably more than the average in the US.
It seems that plenty of people are against horsemeat because horses are smart, they are sometimes pets, they help us work, they symbolize freedom and the openness of the plains, they are big and pretty and majestic and on and on and on. Fine. People like horses. Of course, they never were stuck on the back of Joker, the meanest (and last horse) I ever rode at the age of 10 near Granby, Colorado. Since that day, I have found myself mucking out stalls with dressage horses eyeing me. I have placed horse hooves between my legs (against my better judgment) to clean the gunk out of them. I have fed them and led them and brushed them. However, I have never ridden a horse since I was 10. But I sure as hell have eaten one.
Welcome to Sweden. And the sweet (but mostly salty) taste of revenge.
Wait. That sounds pretty messed up. How about this?
Welcome to Sweden. And the horse with [one] name: hamburger.
Or this one?
Welcome to Sweden. And yet another Swedish food that Americans fear.