July 13, 2005


A NEW ZEALAND restaurant owner has caused a stir since offering horseflesh steaks for dinner, the Canadian Press reports. The move was part of a local marketing campaign in which restaurant owners offer uncommon delicacies for their customers.

David Kerr has received lots of complaints and angry phone calls as a result, the wire service tells us, but he has managed to sell some of the horsemeat:

The calls were "pretty lively and disgusting and not comforting for the staff," Kerr said, adding that "there was swearing, cursing, horrible language," compelling him to call the police.

Nevertheless, some customers couldn't wait to chow down when horse appeared on his menu at the weekend. Kerr said he sold 10 horse steak meals on Monday night.

"Some think it is appalling but others are really interested to give it a go and want to know where else they can buy it," he said.

What I want to know is whether this experiment will, in the end, turn out successful for Mr Kerr's restaurant operation. There's no denying that Mr Kerr has garnered worldwide publicity and as such has gained greatly from that; but, on the other hand, he may have also annoyed many of his potential customers, thus perhaps causing lost sales and lost opportunities for growth and profit.

As for me personally, I can't say I see myself eating horsemeat anytime soon. That's not to say I'd rule it out -- for instance, if I was starving to death, I don't see any religious or ethical barriers which would forbid me from chowing down on Hobbes' old nag. But otherwise, I think it would be a wasteful extravagance, and one could do better elsewhere.

After all, I'd bet the stuff's gamey. I mean, really now.

Oh, and you could never order it out on a date, because you could forget about having any fun afterwards. The best you could hope for would be an unpleasant car ride home, you know, one filled with angry silence, because she (or, potentially, he) could not believe you had My Friend Flicka charbroiled and then ate it in front of everyone, including Alan Brady. Then Mel got sick and threw up in the --

But that's another story entirely, isn't it?

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 13, 2005 06:36 PM | TrackBack