Dispatches: Horsin’ Around

Lately, there’s been much talk and much written about horsemeat.

Extra horsepower, Russia Style

Extra horsepower, Russia Style

I understand why it’s such scandal. Nobody should be sneaking horsemeat into ground beef, meat patties and the like. We all have to know what we’re eating.

It’s especially appalling to us here in the U.S. where Trigger was a movie star and horses are part of our culture. We’d never consider eating our four-hoofed friends.

And yet, one of my bigges travel regrets is never trying horse. Let me explain.

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Back in 2009, just days after seeing Bruce Springsteen open the last run of shows at Giant Stadium – where he first sang the song Wrecking Ball – I was off on a project that would take me to places I never thought I’d be.

The first stop was Moscow. Checked into the Moscow Ritz-Carlton, one of the more affordable hotels in Moscow if you can believe it.

A day later it was off to Kazan, the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. It was there that I first enountered this menu selection.

From the possibly appetizing – horse sausage, horse dumplings – to the utterly not description of “horse flesh.”

My colleagues from there explained that yes, that was a typical option on the menus here. And that I should try.

I declined.

While in Kazan, we had the opportunity to photograph the Minister of Health for the Republic of Tartarsan, near the Annunciation Cathedral. This is on the grounds of the Kazan Kremlin, built at the behest of Ivan The Terrible.

Nothing terrible about the shoot, though. Pretty startight forward on a reall cold morning before Mr. Minister’s days got start. (I really think he was Robert DeNiro’s doppelgänger or whatever the Russian word for doppelgänger is.)

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_KazanMinster_101209_2214

After the shoot, it was off to get some coffee and warm up. Kazan has some very nice old-world charm to it.

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_kazanstreetscene_01409_2325

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As well as the trappings and demise of urban setting.

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_kazan graffitti_102009_2040

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_Kazan HardRock_102009_2036

I do think back with regret, though, that I never tried “roasted horse flesh” in Russia. Why not? In India, I ate anything put in front of me. In Shanghai, I ate sea slug. What could be so bad about a little horse and potatoes in a nice demiglaze?

Travel, as is life, is all about the experience.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved 2013

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