Forbidden meat or the next best stew?

800px-Gaegogi-01It has more vitamin C than pork and usually less artificial additives. It’s less destructive for the environment than livestock, and it was eaten by the 44th and current President of the United States. It is definitely not Kosher and not vegetarian at all. It is a taboo meat for most Western cultures, a guilty pleasure for a few others, and a normal part of the diet in a few places.

Although it probably remains the most controversial source of protein, the significance of dog meat might be at least worth a better understanding.

In the USA, although dogs are killed in mass numbers (no-kill shelters are rare), the leftover carcasses are often put to waste. Despite this, the U.S. state of Hawaii has adopted a number of dog dishes. Whole roasted dogs (from the ground oven), broiled puppies, and boiled dogs are all specialties from the nation’s youngest state.

Although dog meat is not a part of today’s Mexican cuisine, the Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican Hairless Dogs) were on the menu back in Aztec times. Today, the breed is probably too expensive too eat.

Canine meat seems to be popular across Eastern Asia. It is euphemistically known as 香肉 (fragrant meat) in both Mainland China and Taiwan. Illegal in the latter, it is still widely available in the former. China is home to dog breeds specifically bred for special meat and dog meat was even taken into outer space by the first Chinese astronauts. It is praised as a valuable ingredient in Vietnamese and Korean cuisine, and the Koreans are the most active defenders against other cultures’ prejudice around it.
Dog meat is also known in Europe. Calvin W. Schwabe, in his Unmentionable Cuisine, mentions Swiss homemade snacks known as Gedörrtes Hundefleisch (Dried Dogmeat), usually served in paper-thin slices. A very strong taboo and a crime in the books, dog tallow has been on occasion found to be rendered for its supposed medicinal properties in several locations in Poland. Besides, all over Europe there are historical records of dog consumption at times of crisis as well as hygienic regulations regarding the processing of dog meat in some countries’ legal systems.

So what’s your position on the issue? Would you have a yummy dog stew or do you have it often? Or maybe you consider it an inappropriate nutritional source? Please feel free to share your thoughts. 


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