When did people stop eating horses?
Why do the French eat horses, frogs and offal?
In the Marheinekehalle in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Peter Peter is waiting at Les Épicuriens, a market stall with a bistro. The author and restaurant critic from Munich has long been concerned with the basics of European food culture and has written several books on the cultural history of individual regional kitchens. Most recently, he has buttoned up France. That's why there is pate, cheese and baguette for conversation.
ICONIST: Why do the French eat frogs?
Peter Peter: Once everyone ate frogs, it's poor people's food. You can also use it to break the rules of fasting, frogs live in the water. There are beautiful paintings from the Council of Constance in the 15th century showing stalls selling frogs.
ICONIST: Why did we stop?
Peter: Because we got richer - and for animal welfare reasons. The French have a historic relationship with food, and they haven't done away with anything. The kitchen has many things that are frowned upon in the rest of the world.
ICONIST: Horse meat, for example.
Peter: Yes, and snails or giblets. In Lyon you get pork greaves. The frogs are now imported from Turkey and Southeast Asia. The French have no desire to let culinary newcomers - and this is how they see the rest of the world - dictate their food rules.
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