13 April, 2021

Meat It Halfway

Ideas from a bloody-beef-eater-turned-vegetarian

Meat It Halfway

I was born in Paris, and as a proper Frenchman, I was very quickly initiated into the custom of eating beef—lots of beef, in fact. In boarding school, we ate meat twice a day. Not only that, France has taken eating beefsteak to a higher level: we like it saignante, or hardly cooked, so it’s still bleeding on the plate. We even eat beef raw—it’s called steak  tartare, and is topped with a raw yolk. Mmm...used to love it! The story behind the ‘tartare’ is that, when their horses died, the Tartars, being so much in a hurry, would carve out the choicest parts, and sit atop the pieces on their new horses—so that the meat ‘cooked’ a little!—before eating it, still riding hard towards new conquests. That brings us to horsemeat. When I was a kid, there were boucheries chevalines, or horse butchers, all over Paris and we used to eat horsemeat, tho­ugh today it is frowned upon even in meat-crazy France.

When I came to India, I quickly realised this country had more of a chicken and mutton culture, and my...

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