2009.02.26: February 26, 2009: Headlines: COS - Kazakhstan : Wichita Examiner: Micah Lemons writes: Discovering Fermented Horse Milk in Kazakhstan

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kazakstan : Peace Corps Kazakhstan : Peace Corps Kazakstan: Newest Stories: 2009.02.26: February 26, 2009: Headlines: COS - Kazakhstan : Wichita Examiner: Micah Lemons writes: Discovering Fermented Horse Milk in Kazakhstan

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.61.152) on Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 9:30 am: Edit Post

Micah Lemons writes: Discovering Fermented Horse Milk in Kazakhstan

Micah Lemons writes:  Discovering Fermented Horse Milk in Kazakhstan

As it turns out, Kumys is fermented horse milk, which tastes like liquid beef jerky mixed with pure lemon juice. I'm not sure if it's mixed that way, or if that's just the way fermented horse milk tastes; either way I don't recommend it for those with an easily upset stomach. All the same, two years later, I found myself engaged in a drinking game with Kumys. A group of volunteers had convened in a yurt (a traditional Kazakh tent) to play cards and drink Kumys. Although wed grown somewhat accustomed to the drink by then, it was still a painful game. The losers of each hand had to take a sip of fermented milk before continuing the game. Eventually, the game concluded and we lay down to sleep, with our stomachs as unhappy as our taste buds.

Micah Lemons writes: Discovering Fermented Horse Milk in Kazakhstan

Discovering Fermented Horse Milk

February 26, 3:34 PM

by Micah Lemons, Wichita Budget Travel Examiner

In 2006, I traveled to Kazakhstan with the Peace Corps. I lived in a small town outside of Almaty for a few months before relocating to Turkistan, an arid historical town close to the southern border with Uzbekistan. While most of the food in Kazakhstan was much better than I had anticipated, I did have a few rather unfortunate experiences. In Russian class, we were reviewing all of the national Kazakh dishes that we'd tried. Since we had only been in the country for a few weeks at the time, I hadnt tried most of the dishes. The other boy in my class lives with a Kazakh family and he had eaten most of the national dishes, but he had never had Kumys.

Since I was continually looking for opportunities to get out of class, I suggested that we go to the nearby store for a field trip and buy these foods (actually they are drinks). The teacher didn't mind and so my friend and I set off to see what we could find. Since kumys is an alcoholic drinks, we joked that only in Kazakhstan could you get out of class at 8:30 AM to buy alcohol for class. We bought a liter and a half at 300 tenge, which is about 2.50 USD. Back in the class we all tried some, but only us, the two boys, were able to finish our glasses.

As it turns out, Kumys is fermented horse milk, which tastes like liquid beef jerky mixed with pure lemon juice. I'm not sure if it's mixed that way, or if that's just the way fermented horse milk tastes; either way I don't recommend it for those with an easily upset stomach. All the same, two years later, I found myself engaged in a drinking game with Kumys. A group of volunteers had convened in a yurt (a traditional Kazakh tent) to play cards and drink Kumys. Although wed grown somewhat accustomed to the drink by then, it was still a painful game. The losers of each hand had to take a sip of fermented milk before continuing the game. Eventually, the game concluded and we lay down to sleep, with our stomachs as unhappy as our taste buds.

Kumys is a traditional drink that the nomadic Kazakhs used to make from horse milk. While Kumys has largely been replaced by vodka, it is still readily available in the southern part of Kazakhstan and many will extol its healthy benefits. Often after meals or other social events, the older crowd would sit around drinking Kumys while chatting. However, in my experience, most young people prefer other beverages to the bitter-tasting horse milk. Still if you find yourself in Kazakhstan, Id recommend that you give it a try. Its unlike any other drink youre likely to find.




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Headlines: February, 2009; Peace Corps Kazakhstan; Directory of Kazakhstan RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Kazakhstan RPCVs





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Story Source: Wichita Examiner

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kazakhstan

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