HORSES & HORSE MEAT
Latest evidence indicate that horses were domesticated for milk and riding about 5,500 years ago in what is now northern Kazakhstan. This is 1,000 years earlier then previously thought.
Current World Archaeology (#35, 2009)
Lollipops were named after a race horse, Lolly Pop.
The Snickers candy bar was named after a horse owned by the Mars family.
New Jersey designated the Horse (Equus caballus) as its Official State Animal in 1977.
The Morgan Horse was designated as the Official Animal of Vermont in 1961.
Marco Polo reported in the late 13th century that the nomadic Tartars would boil mare's milk, skimming the cream from the top, and then expose the milk to the hot sun until it dried. When it was to be used, they would add water, and while riding their horse, the mixture would be violently shaken, producing a thick porridge for dinner.
The equine population (horses, donkeys, mules, etc.) reached an all time high in 1918 of more than 26 million animals. Most were used as beasts of burden on farms.
University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher had a theory that early Americans of 10,000 years ago used frozen lakes as refrigerators to store mastodon and mammoth meat. He tested his theory when a friend's horse died of old age.
Fisher dropped chunks of horse meat of up to 170 pounds below the ice in a nearby pond. He anchored some pieces to the bottom. Every week or so he cooked and chewed a piece of meat, and eventually swallowed each bite. The meat remained safe to eat well into the summer.
The theory is that as the water warmed in the spring, lactobacilli (the bacteria found in yogurt & cheese) colonized the meat, rendering it inhospitable to other pathogens. So despite the smell and taste (similar to Limburger cheese), the meat remained safe to eat.
Scientific American, April 2000
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