The delightful, serene surroundings at the horse milk farm definitely made us want to move in. The couple had graciously made a sumptuous homemade farm meal, which we all looked forward to. It took so much planning and care on our dear tour leader Judith, to seek out interesting farms and wonderful food for us, and certainly a lot of work for the horse farm to prepare the meal and tour for us.
Oh what would it be? I was pretty darn sure what it would be, but kept my guess to myself.
They brought out loaves of lovely traditional Swiss breads.
The freshest of salads, grown from the amazing gardens on the property.
Delicious homemade vinaigrette.
And then THIS was set before me. hmmmm. (Ok, yes, I coveted the pot as well.)
There were lovely pitchers of water with fresh garden mint on the table.
and I loved the pitcher.
One of our most favorite people we met on the tour is Cyril, who is 86 and is Swiss born and lives in the US now. He is an amazing world traveler, with lots of wonderful stories and was a delight on the trip.
Cyril decided to serve everyone during the meal. 🙂 Lots of interesting conversations going on at all times.
Now, tada! The fragrance was amazing, and the flavor divine. There were whole cloves and whole juniper berries, and a myriad of other flavors. “Oh, what kind of meat is this?” “I’m sure it is lamb.” “No, it is beef.” “Venison.”…
I did not have to guess at all, I just knew it was horse. First of all it made the most sense. Second the texture and flavor were in no way beef or lamb. It was incredibly delicious.
Everyone thought so, until some recoiled after finding out it was indeed, horse.
After the fabulous meal, he brought out some soap that they make from horse milk, for people with skin disorders, and those who just like lovely soap.
Judith was especially interested in these books he brought out on horse milk and other raw milks, as she is tirelessly connecting, educating, supporting the farmers in Switzerland who fight the same battles we fight here, on the raw milk front. Raw milk is becoming more regulated and in some instances demonized, with the greatest attack on the artisan raw milk cheese producers.
Judith has written a very informative and well researched book on raw milk, in German, and here is her website: Milch its night gleich Milch.
Then the pièce de résistance was brought silently to the table. It tasted like velvet. Indescribable really, as the texture was as tender as salmon, flavor mild yet deep, unlike anything I have ever had. Very moist and soft, nothing like jerky.
Horse, of course.
From what I could gather, he takes the meat and brines it in a salt brine with juniper berries (and certainly other flavors?) for 60 days. Then he hangs the meat to dry cure, for who knows how long, and then vacuum seals it. Oh, I want to try this with cuts of beef and lamb. Then again, if Noni’s bad horse, Evie, kicks baby Salomon in the mouth again, I might be brining something else. 😉
I don’t remember what he charged, but I snuck after him and asked if I could buy some, as I intended to sneak it back home in my suitcase. I noticed other little mice, scurrying in silent, back and forth, to also purchase some of this delicacy.
Well, I did not actually lie about the horse meat.
“Do you have food with you?”
“Yes, cheese, chocolate…” which I did.
“Do you have liquor with you?”
“Do you have over $10,000 in currency with you?”
“Don’t I wish!”
“You may pass.”