Kazakh food is an interesting mix of Turkic, Mongolian, Chinese, and Russian food. It was very good, with copious amounts of dairy and horse meat.
That's right, horse meat. I've eaten horse in Japan on two occasions -- once raw when I was in Wakayama for high school, and once smoked, in Nagano. In the Western world, horse meat is considered to be of poor quality and is generally only used as dog food. Yet it is the primary meat of consumption in Kazakhstan, followed by lamb and chicken. I couldn't believe how much horse I ate in Kazakhstan, and it was everywhere: in stews, in sausage, in soup, in sandwiches.
My new friend Timur, who you will read more about in the upcoming New Friends... section, brought all of us to a small restaurant that served a traditional Kazakh dinner of horse stew. Here's what I mean when I say Kazakh food is an interesting mix: the stew also contained the same dough that Chinese dumplings are made out of, as you can see here.
Timur also brought me to the green bazaar where foods of all sorts are sold. Koreans sell kimchi, Uyghurs sell spices, and you can buy horsemeat by the flank! Here you can see horsemeat for sale.
Kazakhstan has many types of alcohol which they drink in copious amounts, but one of the native liquors is fermented mares milk! Yes, milk from horses is fermented until it is slightly alcoholic (and nauseatingly pugnant), and you can buy it by the liter bottle. Here you can see this charming woman is preparing my serving in whatever she had lying around, which was in this case a coke bottle.
This is a food stall at the grand bazaar.
On my last night in Almaty, Charles made a homemade dinner of pilaf, bread, and ribs (we also tried CCCP Cola!). Here is Roy and Charles chowing down on homemade Kazakh cuisine -- yum!
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