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Authentic food in Kazakhstan.

February 21st, 2008

People in Kazakhstan are very hospitable and they treat a guest with a great honour. Kazakh cookery is extremely various because of the fact that Kazakhstan is a multinational country and the cuisines of all nations (kazakhs, Russians, Uzbeks, Germans, Polish, Koreans and others) combined into one.

Couple days in January I did english-russian translation for an American who came to visit Astana. He had never been to Kazakhstan or any of FSU coutries before, so it was quite a big culture shock, both in a good and bad ways. He wanted to get to know kazakh culture and we started with authentic food and national meals.

I remember his astonishment when I said that horse was one of the national meals in Kazakhstan. Another shock to him was to find out that there was no menu in English and waitresses were of little help. I thought it might be useful to know more about the culture of the country that one goes to. So I would like to present a point of view of an American who was in Kazakhstan and tried many national meals. I hope it can be both educative and interesting.


By NADIA WHITE, state editor for the Star-Tribune, Wyoming.

Let me confess right up front: My vegetarian habits are on hold.

Take that one more step: I spent most of November eating horse meat, drinking mare’s milk and marveling at the social niceties involved in serving baked sheep’s head.

I am just back from Kazakhstan, where machismo is measured by how much meat one can eat and hospitality in how much a guest is fed. Suffice it to say, the Kazakhs are extraordinary hosts and I am eating more macho than I used to.

During a month in the Central Asian nation, numerous table-filling feasts were spread before me. A spyglass across time, they recall the days when a guest who arrived at a nomad’s yurt would have traveled very, very far, across the steppe, with little in the way of clothing or fine food.

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