The Canadian Top Chef Horse Meat Scandal

We learned something very important today: There's a Top Chef Canada! Ha. Seriously, though, a Canadian tipster from the blog Jazz and Fuzy Go Dining let us in on the great debate raging amongst Canadians about the upcoming episode of Top Chef Canada, airing next Monday night, featuring a classic French cooking challenge that has one contestant charged with using horse meat.

Apparently, the news "leaked" on the website for Global Toronto, which is owned by the same company that airs Top Chef Canada, and it's spread like cheese curds on a hot plate of poutine. There's now a Facebook page called "Boycott Top Chef—Protect the Horses," and some Canadians are calling for a boycott and threatening to boycott sponsors of the show as well.

According to the Global Toronto story, horse meat isn't terribly popular in Canada, but it is sold at some butchers and in grocery stores in Quebec, where, as in France, it's called "viande chevaline." The Metro grocery chain in Canada even provides several recipes on its website.

As the debate continues to rage, it's more than just ethics being discussed. Ousted candidate Rebekah Pearse rhapsodizes about dipping French fries in sauce made with horse meat, then veers off in a thoughtful analysis of the issues, concluding that it's not so easy to judge these things in black and white. We're sure that once the episode airs, the response won't be so measured. In Canada, at least.

Have you ever eaten horse meat? How do you feel about it? Let us know in the comments.