A Tel Aviv couple on a dinner date at the upscale Turkiz restaurant recently found a rather unpleasant surprise on their plates: They were shocked to discover that the meal served to them contained horse meat.
The couple, who were joined by friends, preferred not to have their identities revealed. They told the daily newspaper Haaretz that they had ordered seafood paella and chicken.
"My [boyfriend] was about to taste the food but suddenly realized there were pieces that looked and smelled very strange to him," said the woman. "We called the waiter and asked him if there was [red] meat in the serving, despite that not being part of the description. We asked the waiter if it was pork, and the waiter told us -- 'not exactly.' At that point we got annoyed and asked, 'What does that mean, 'not exactly?' Is it pork or not?' And then the waiter told us it was horse meat. We were stunned."
According to the woman, "after a minute the shift manager came over and told us she was sorry. We asked her how horse meat could be in the meal even though it didn't appear on the menu."
The couple ultimately received compensation and did not pay for the dinner.
Speaking to Israel Hayom, Eli Samari, a co-owner of Turkiz, said that "the matter has been blown out of proportion."
According to Samari, the restaurant "added horse meat imported from Hungary to enhance the taste of the seafood paella. There were all of two pieces of meat. It's not like someone who was religiously observant came in; the problem was that the ingredient did not appear on the menu. I understand the mistake; we didn't think to write that there was horse meat just like we didn't think to write that there was saffron. I'm not ashamed of anything, this isn't a cheap ingredient, spoiled or not good; I wouldn't lie to any client."
There was a global uproar at the beginning of 2013 when Britain discovered that hamburgers sold by a large supermarket chain were made from horse meat. British Prime Minister David Cameron called the affair "appalling and completely intolerable."
It was also discovered that lasagnas made by a large food corporation, which markets its products in a number of European countries, also contained horse meat. If that wasn't enough, a month later it was reported that 13 branches of IKEA served meals containing horse meat.