It seems that every week there is a new wave of public, or celebrity, outrage at the social networking and micro blogging site Twitter. Some of the tales of woe are reminiscent of playground rows, friends falling out over an opinion miraculously behaving like best friends by the end of the week. There are tales of trolls* being so vile that people are deactivating their accounts altogether. There are also the legal battles over jokes on twitter being taken seriously and for deformation of character.
It's not all doom and gloom though, in fact it's probably not even 10% doom and gloom, but as with all things it's the bad news that travels and sticks. Tonight's Menu comes courtesy of the nice, friendly, cuddly side of Twitter. Over the past year I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the people I follow on Twitter at various food (and non-food) events and it was through one of these that I had my first contact with zebra.
Back in November I noticed a picture, posted on twitter by Jo from Thistlemist Farm. She had been selling her wonderful soup at Wentworth Farmers market and was tucking into a zebra burger. I was immediately jealous but resigned myself to not driving the hour and a half round trip for a burger. I set about my day and promptly forgot about stripy meat. When I got home I found a message from Jo telling me that she'd bought me a packet of the burgers and that I could collect them next time she was at a more conveniently placed farmers market.
Today was the Oakwood farmers market and I made the trip up to Roundhay to pick up my burgers. Sadly Jo was ill, but I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Soup who had been sent to market with her wares to sell and the zebra to pass on to me. It felt a bit odd, getting to the front of a queue of people buying soup and asking for zebra. It was just as odd when an unmarked bag was passed over the stall counter, money exchanged hands and, like a Chicago gangster, I left the market making sure that I wasn't being followed.
To make sure that we could taste the zebra we decided not to garnish the meat patties with the usual ketchup, mustard, cheese etc. We grilled the burgers and served them with dukkah coated potato wedges as a nod to their African heritage. I'm not sure what I was expecting from zebra, I've never eaten horse** and I was sure it wasn't going to be beefy. It didn't have that strong a flavour at all, gamey and sweet. The burgers were also very juicy which surprised me as I thought that zebra would have been especially lean.
The burgers were from Oslinc, a Lincolnshire Ostrich farm who also specialise in exotic meat. I love ostrich burgers, not that I've had them for a long time. I only hope I am never made to choose between zebra and ostrich as they both taste fantastic.
*not the ones who live under bridges waiting for passing goats to eat, but evil spirited individuals who take delight in bullying people.
**it's on the list