It is common in the Tapp household to hear one’s hunger being expressed with the timeless phrase ‘I could eat a naggy old horse’ - it now transpires that I, along with much of the population, most probably have.
The current wave of scandals which have gnawed away at our food industry in recent weeks has caused much pain, not because I am concerned about what I may have inadvertently stuffed down my mooey, but because I am sick to death of the rubbish jokes this crisis has spawned. Venture on to any social network, any time and you will stumble across some ‘comedian’ banging about Nag Bols or his Tesco-bought burger giving him the trots. I swear the next time I hear a horsemeat ‘joke’ I am going to force-feed the culprit a chest freezer full of Findus’ finest.
But to be honest that really is the only aspect of this whole sorry story which really bothers me, having spent a lifetime consuming things which, on reflection, I really should not have done, but boy were they tasty. I am firmly of the belief if you stick to roast beef when venturing abroad then you should be banned from having a passport.
On my travels I have chowed down on crocodile, zebra, snails, several variation of stomach lining and tripe and once (back home in the north west) I even finished a pair of duck’s webs. Although Daffy managed to get his own back when the tough ‘meat’ wanged back in my face when I attempted to take a bite.
Even the good old traditional northern diet of offal is enough to put some folk off their tuna and cheese melt. I grew up on a diet of black pudding butties, liver and bacon, homemade steak and kidney pie and exotic dishes such as stuffed lamb’s hearts..
As a child I would arm wrestle my old man for the right to eat the Parson’s Nose on a Sunday so call me old fashioned, but what is worse - eating Foghorn Leghorn’s backside or the tender rump of Black Beauty?
Putting the legitimate concerns to one side about being deliberately misled as to the providence of our evening meal I think the reaction to ‘horsegate’ is nothing short of hysteria.
Sure, we are a nation of horse lovers and we encourage our children to love and pet them whenever we stumble across one in a field, but young lambs are incredibly cute too and many of us think nothing of smearing a chop in mint sauce.
I am sure that if Romanian criminals (I am sure there was mass euphoria in the Daily Mail newsroom when that angle broke) are responsible for feeding us Desert Orchid’s cousin the Government will spend much Parliamentary time assuring us laws have been tightened to stop this from happening again.
Eating this stuff won’t kill us but it will make many think twice about exclaiming how they could eat a horse.