At the Langham Hotel, London, in February, 1868, a banquet of Horseflesh was given, with the view of testing the culinary merits thereof, and its nutritive capabilities. The verdict on a roasted horse-joint at that time was: This flesh leaves a pungency on the palate, as does likewise the horse-tea, which was proposed instead of beef-tea for the hospitals. Baron Larry, the eminent French surgeon to Napoleon I, had great faith in bouillon made from horse-beef, and he gave this to the wounded soldiers in all his campaigns. During the French Revolution, the populace were fed for six months on the flesh of horses, and no harm resulted, though loud complaints were made against it. Thirty thousand horses were killed and eaten in Paris alone during 1901, and there are now in that city two hundred and fifty horse-butchers' shops. The meat is coarse, and ill-flavoured, yet the taste for it steadily grows, mainly perhaps because this meat is cheaper than beef; but, unless the people approved of it, they would not consume it so widely, on the score of cheapness alone. Its colour is darker than that of beef, and it has a distinctively less acceptable odour.

After standing for some time, it develops a peculiar soapy feeling to the touch, with a sickly smell; and its surface assumes a characteristic iridescent appearance. The horse fat contains a specially abundant quantity of the fatty acids.

One fact connected with the use of horse-flesh as an article of human diet, which, besides other considerations, is likely to interfere with its general adoption, finds proof through the Pampas Indians, who habitually live on mare's flesh, and who exhale a peculiarly disagreeable, sickening stench. "You smell like an Indian," has been overheard in a ball-room, as a young lady's reason for not dancing "with a distinguished General who had been dining off mare's flesh.

It is said authoritatively that the common repugnance to Horse-flesh as human food cannot be logically defended, if one considers the careful and cleanly habits of this quadruped, and compares them with those of the pig, which disgusts nobody, save the Jews. To conclude that the root of objection to Horseflesh as food for man is of a religious character is new to most of us, but the fact has much to commend it. Our Scandinavian forefathers appreciated Horse-flesh highly; they sacrificed white horses annually to Odin, the priests and people feasting royally on the flesh afterwards; so that Horse-flesh banquets acquired a religious significance, which led to their being subsequently interdicted with stern aversion by the early preachers of Christianity. Thus, it is alleged, was created a prejudice which time has not even yet eradicated. But of late Professor Pfluger has been making extensive experiments with Horse-flesh, in order to test its nutritive, and other properties. His decision on the subject is very clear. He declares emphatically his conclusion that Horse-flesh is injurious to everyone who eats it.

He is convinced that it is almost, if not altogether, deficient in true nutritive properties; and he avows that, so far from being fit food for man, Horse-flesh is not desirable sustenance even for animals (dogs, for instance), containing as it undoubtedly does a certain poisonous substance, the exact nature of which is not yet determined.

In Alice through the Looking Glass, the Rocking-horse fly (made of wood) is said to live on sap, and sawdust; whilst the Snap-dragon fly (made of plum pudding, with wings of holly leaves, and for its head a raisin burning in brandy,) lives on frumenty, and mince pie, making its nest in a Christmas box.