Tel Aviv Couple Find Horse Meat in their Paella

Spanish paella, seafood paella, Tel Aviv, Turkiz, horse meat, non-kosher meatAlthough the international furor around horse meat has died down since it first escalated earlier this year, the shock is all too fresh for a Tel Aviv couple who recently discovered chunks of it in their paella.

The couple, who originally spoke with the local paper Ha’aretz and asked to remain anonymous, went with another couple to Turkiz, an upscale restaurant in North Tel Aviv that is famous for its seafood.

After receiving his chicken and seafood paella, the boyfriend reportedly identified some suspicious pieces of meat that “looked and smelled” a bit funny.

“We called the waiter and asked him if there was [red] meat in the serving, despite that not being part of the description,” the woman told Ha’aretz.

“We asked the waiter if it was pork, and the waiter told us — ‘not exactly.’ At that point we got annoyed and asked, ‘What does that mean, ‘not exactly?’ Is it pork or not?’ And then the waiter told us it was horse meat. We were stunned.”

Israel Hayom spoke with Eli Samari, one of the restaurant’s co-owners, who said the matter had been “blown out of proportion.”

Samari said the horse meat came from Hungary and that it was added to the dish to enhance its flavor.

“There were all of two pieces of meat,” said Samari. “…I understand the mistake; we didn’t think to write that there was horse meat just like we didn’t think to write that there was saffron. I’m not ashamed of anything, this isn’t a cheap ingredient, spoiled or not good; I wouldn’t lie to any client.”

Opened in 1991, Turkiz is located in Tel Aviv’s Sea & Sun project and prides itself for serving only the best, most natural ingredients.

“Turkiz puts an emphasis on the freshness of its raw materials, making sure to handle them just the right way and prepare them in the creative yet simple way that characterizes our dishes, all in the highest standards,” according to its website.

While the couple in question were not religiously observant, horse meat is not considered kosher because it doesn’t have split hooves and it doesn’t chew its cud, so Israelis who keep kosher will be disappointed to learn about Turkiz’s new ingredient.

For the rest, horse meat holds a socio-cultural stigma in many countries – though it is considered a delicacy by Dutch people, though there is no evidence that we know of to suggest that it is less healthy than beef, for example. In fact, there is some evidence that it might be healthier.

Let us know what you think? Would you be outraged to find horse meat in your paella?

:: Israel Hayom

Image of Spanish Seafood Paella, Shutterstock

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8 thoughts on “Tel Aviv Couple Find Horse Meat in their Paella”

  1. Justin says:

    The shellfish in the paella isn’t kosher either…

  2. Islam Hussen Pakhtoon says:

    You christians really do make me sick…………I think I am going to puke. I am just waiting for the new bible saying that God has praised the eating and chewing of horse meat to come out. And why you bullying tesco anyway, you should be grateful you have a cheap shop like tesco. I wouldn’t be suprised if it mainly compeitors building up the hype. But you chcristians really do make me sick. So just out of curiosity when is the bible coming out, some time this month I assume…………

  3. elizabeth dana says:

    Outraged to think someone would deliberate put a putrid wormy tumored pieced of snake venom poisoned unclean meat in a meal and then say “What’s the big deal”? Maybe if he ate pieces of human babies he would gag? Only two pieces – what’s the big deal?

  4. jean robertson says:

    Dog food companies do not use horsemeat in their product because of the drugs administered to horses in North America. So why is horsemeat sold for human consumption????

  5. Carol Lucas says:

    I would never eat Horsemeat as in my opinion Horses are not food…I pledged to not buy any more beef and would rather not cook any meat….I do not trust the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or the United States Food Safety to do their jobs and protect the public. Also Canada and the US grow GMO grains…I do not buy anything from Kelloggs …who would have thought that when Columbus sailed the ocean blue that the North American continent would end up killing all the animals for profit…we are no longer human but maggots.l

  6. Tracey says:

    Welcome to your food supply, unless you want drug laden horsemeat in your food , help get the SAFE ACT HR1094 passed. The cruelty involved and the criminal acts as well as the pro slaughter lies should be enough to stop it but greed runs this train . Horsemeat will and most likely is already in your beef.
    I could give you a mountain of information on horse slaughter – it is all vile and built on the lies of pro slaughter. This predatory meat business preys on young fit horses, aged from 18 months to 7 years. All about money nothing more. A greedy drug cocktail brought to you by the American Quarter Horses Assoc. and the cattlemen , plus the farm bureaus ….. wake up America and investigate your food supply. It should scare the heck out of you. I know I don’t eat meat …. and many are boycotting beef because the cattle men are behind horse slaughter, domestic and wild and wildlife slaughter as well.

  7. Susan carter says:

    I would be extremely upset. While I don’t keep Kosher, I don’t eat pork because the Bible says it is unclean. Horses also, would be unclean. But, aside from that horses are beautiful and intelligent. The slaughter process and transport is very cruel for horses. With all the in humane considerations and drug usage in factory farming, plus the pathogens, bacteria, etc. I am weaning my family from all meat. No more beef, pork and Never horse!

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