Weirdest foods in the world: Kymyz – fermented mare’s milk
Before starting off about the Kyrgyz cuisine there are some facts you should be enlightened about. Obviously the cuisine was hugely influenced by the nomadic lifestyle that developed amidst the changing habitats throughout this vast country.
From mountainous regions to the great steppes, from arid deserts to rich ecohabitats with forests, rivers and lakes; all this geographical diversity resulted in the creation of the variety of national dishes in different regions of Kyrgyz. In the end a lack of restrictions to changes in the recipes and the way it's served makes this cuisine much more interesting. Tasting this cuisine will also allow you to get a better sense of Kazakh national culture and its diversity, Kazakhstan.travel noted.
What is Kymyz?
Kyrgyzstan is a country with a nomadic past that still has a strong influence on the Kyrgyz culture and food. For example, horses remain an important part of the life of Kyrgyz people. In summer some people still take their horses up to the summer pastures while living in a yurt.
Horses not only provide transport and company, but also meat and milk. Kyrgyzstan national drink is Kymyz or fermented mare’s milk. The scenic Suusamyr valley is famous for its high quality of Kymyz and some even believe it has medicinal properties, according to The-travelling-twins.
How does it taste like?
It smells a little like chloroform and pickles and tastes a lot like rotten eggs in olive brine, but kymyz, the fermented horse milk that is the national drink of Kyrgyzstan, brought the crowd in the International Affairs Building back for seconds Monday night, Columbiaspectator shared.
The history of Kymyz
Like a fine wine, a lip-smacking kymyz is the product of both terroir and artisanship. Altitude is key: the best kymyz comes from northern Kyrgyzstan’s jailoos, rich pastures 8,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level, where herders spend the summer.
At lower elevations, the taste of the grass and the mix of herbs and wildflowers in a mare’s diet produce a disappointing libation barely worthy of the name, while higher elevations are just too cold. Soil, geology, mesoclimate, and aspect undoubtedly play a part as well, though little systematic work has been done on the matter.
Though recent efforts have been made to industrialize the kymyz-making process, even the best bottled kymyzes available in Bishkek, under the Sayak brand name, bear little resemblance to the real thing. And absent a dramatic increase in horse-milking elsewhere, or advances in fermented-dairy transport, it’s going to be a long time before real kymyz is available outside of the region. So fill your flask, pack your bags, and book your ticket for Kyrgyzstan to sample this powerful testimony to humanity’s urge to intoxication, Drunkard expressed.
How to make Kymyz?
Kymyz is prepared as a result of lactic acid and alcohol fermentation with the help of Bulgarian and acidophilic lactobacilli and yeast.
The seminar was held for farmers from different oblasts of the country to inform them about proper use of pasture resources. Farmers and sheep breeders discussed the most important issues of livestock and farming in general. One of the topical issues of discussion was pasture problem.
The seminar was organized by Kyrgyz association of sheep breeders together with foreign experts from Hungary, Italy and also Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Kabar.kg showed.
Drinking Kymyz's benefits
Although scientific studies have found many benefits to saumal and kymyz, there is no evidence that mare’s milk or tail fat can prevent or treat coronavirus. The Kazakh doctors, nevertheless, recommend drinking mare’s milk as a supplement to support the immune system.
Almaty’s chief part time pulmonologist Saule Kassenova recommended patients who recovered from COVID-19 to work on rehabilitating their lungs with regular breathing exercises, and consumption of kymyz and shubat (camel’s milk).
“Since we are talking about rehabilitation, the methods of traditional medicine are still important. We know about the very good, healing properties of national drinks – kymyz and shubat. Patients can take them if they do not have concomitant pancreatitis or other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract,” she explained at a July 13 press briefing.
“The mare’s milk contains a storehouse of vitamins necessary for the human body. Saumal is close to breast milk by trace elements after goats,” said Sulen Ilyasov, the head of the Akmola regional health department, Astanatimes noted.
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