Eat, Don’t Ride Horses While in Milan.

Our Love Affair With Horses

After reading this post, I’m likely to lose some followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook. Heck, I might even lose some real life friends. Surely, Pamela Anderson and PETA will boycott my blog.

When you think of horses, what comes to mind? Maybe thoughts of horseback riding alongside a river or driving down a country road while appreciating the sight of horses grazing in a nearby field.

Flickr Photo Courtesy of chasmcn
These magnificent creatures have been a long time friend to humans and are beautiful, intelligent, even soulful beings.  They’ve inspired movies like Black Beauty and Seabiscuit, flicks that cause grown men and women to shed tears.

When you think of horses, it’s not likely that you would think of eating them. Believe it or not, some people do eat horse meat.

Wikipedia tells us that people in Europe, Asia and South America have been known to eat horse meat. While the consumption of the meat is a long standing culinary tradition in some countries, eating it has become less common due to our association of horses as pets and concern surrounding the treatment of the animals during slaughter. It may be hard to find, but the meat is still available for the adventurous few that wish to taste it.

So, confession time. As you can guess by now, I ate horse meat while I was in Milan last month.

At Lonely Planet’s recommendation, myself and some friends treated ourselves to a delicious meal at Tratteria Pugliese Acquasala, along Milan’s canal area.

Milan's Canal Area

Acquasala in Milan

This restaurant located in Northern Italy not only serves Southern Italy’s Pugliese dishes, it also serves regional Venetian ones including cavallo (Italian for horse). Typical Venetian dishes that include horse meat are pastissada (stew), steaks, pasta, carpaccio and even breads.

As I touched upon in a previous blog post about romancing myself in Milano, I vowed to challenge my culinary limits while I was on vacation, eating things I wouldn’t normally even consider. Horse meat seemed a good place to start!

I ordered a pasta drenched in a tomato based, horse meat sauce. It also came with a giant cheese filled meatball.

Pasta With a Horse Meat Tomato Sauce
My final verdict? The dish was actually pretty tasty! While very heavy, the horse meat was really tender and the meatball was made to perfection. Adventurous foodies and meat lovers everywhere should try out this dish should they ever make it to Acquasala.

Obviously, there’s much more to this restaurant than horse meat. Another dish that was a hit with our group? Octopus carpaccio. Served with fresh tomatoes, olive oil and basil, it was really really good.

Octopus Carpaccio
Some food pron that will leave you feeling hungry:

Some of the Best Bruschetta I Had in Italy

Seafood Pasta

My Favorite Italian Dessert Panna Cotta
Should you visit Aquasala when in Milan? My response is an emphatic YES! They serve up delicious food, stock a great selection of wine, are located in Milan’s trendy canal district and offer good service.

Good to know? Acquasala is not cheap so be prepared to part with your Euros.

The menu is only in Italian and the servers’ knowledge of English (or other languages) may be limited. Your options? Bring a local with you to dinner or have your Italian phrasebook at the ready and open at the food section. Or if you’re really bold, order randomly off the menu and see what delicious surprises are brought your way.

Location. As mentioned, Acquasala is located in Milan’s canal District (at ripa di p.ta ticinese, 71).

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Founder of Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. I love your foodpron photos, Cheryl. So wow, horse meat… Not something I ever would have considered up to know, if I’m honest! But I’ll try everything at least once. Definitely feeling more open minded after reading your post.

    Thanks for the great article.

  2. Thanks, Tristan. There are more photos …. but I didn’t want to overwhelm my readers with too much foodpron.

    Horse meat was a stretch for me too but it was good and probably not something I’d eat often.

    Keep me posted as to your next culinary adventure. 🙂

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