Food and Drink

The modern Kyrgyz cuisine is quite rich in the sense that it has adopted elements from culinary cultures of both nomadic and settled Turkic peoples of Central Asia, as well as those of Eastern (Chinese and Indian) peoples.

As for the traditional Kyrgyz cuisine, it is dominated by meat and dairy products with their natural appearance and flavor and have a high calorie content and nutritional value.

Mainly mutton, beef and horse meat is used in cooking. The most famous and respected dish of the Kyrgyz is beshbarmak (en.five fingers). It is finely cut boiled meat of a young sheep mixed with home made noodle and some amount of broth. Chuchuk, a sausage-like type of dish, is another delicacy of Kyrgyz meat made from boiled horse meat.

Kyrgyz traditional dairy products comprise of kaimak (cream), sary mai (melted butter), airan (sour yoghurt), byshtak (cottage cheese made from boiled milk) and kurut (small pressed and dry salty cheese made from sour yoghurt) and only boiled milk is used in preparing all these products. Another dairy product that deserves special attention is koumiss (or kymyz) — fermented mare’s milk, which is available only in summer. Kyrgyz people drink koumiss not only for its refreshing properties, but also for its curative factors.

Cereals are mainly used to prepare bread and several nutritious, refreshing and energizing drinks such as maksym and bozo.

The modern cuisine in Kyrgyzstan owes its richness to culinary cultures of peoples with whom the Kyrgyz have co-existed for centuries: the Uzbek, Tajik, Uighur, Dungan, Russian and Caucasian peoples. Today, dishes such as pilaf, samsa, lagman, ashlıam fu, manty, kuurdak and shashlyk exist in the food table of each kyrgyzstani.

Finally, tea. In Kyrgyzstan, no meal is complete without tea. Mostly preferred is green tea and black tea with milk.

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