A horse is a horse, of course, but what if the horse is a meatball course, served at Ikea alongside mashed potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry jam?
Horse meat was discovered in Ikea’s famous Swedish meatballs this week, and the retailer responded by withdrawing the meatballs from their stores in fourteen European countries. It's the latest in an escalating crisis over horse meat appearing in beef products.
But, based on our western food history, shouldn’t we expect filler in meatballs and other ground-meat foods? Isn’t that what ground meat foods are all about? Should we really expect meatballs and meatloaf to be made of only prime cuts of steak? And why are we so squeamish when we discover they aren’t?
Paul Freedman is a medieval historian at Yale University who’s written about food. And he’s the editor of the book, "Food: The History of Taste."