Demonstration of traditional dishes at the Issyk-Kul Forum

The pastoral network, Kyrgyz el Akyl Kazyna, actively participates in many events to sensitise traditional knowledge and culture of Kyrgyzstan, and they have earned a good reputation as holders of precious cultural heritage. This time, some members of the network and a representative of RDF were invited to the Issyk-Kul Youth Forum of Intellectuals, “Youth of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – Multiculturalism, Tolerance, Harmony”, as experts on Kyrgyz traditional cuisine. The forum was dedicated to the memory of Chingiz T. Aitmatov, and was held in Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul region, from 8 to 11 August 2011. It aimed to share cultural experiences among representatives of different nationalities, as well as to presesrve historical and cultural heritages throughout the territory of the CIS.

The representatives of the network demonstrated more than 15 traditional dishes which were served at a unique coffee break in the Kyrgyz national style. At the table, along with traditional fried bread, borsook, and dried salty cheese, kurut, guests were treated with dishes such as olobo, lungs of sheep boiled in water, milk and cream, tash kordo, large piece of seasoned meat steam-cooked in an oven dug deep in the ground, ezhigey, cottage cheese made from sheep’s milk, kattama, Kyrgyz traditional flat bread, kalama, Kyrgyz traditional unleavened flat bread, zhentek, hand-rolled weat ball made with homemade butter and honey, badyrak, fried wheat grains, ulpuldok, Kyrgyz sweet crispy snacks, warrant, kalmende, stacked thin pancakes served with walnut oil, sugar and milk, and Kyrgyz Ghee. And, of course, national drinks, such as bozo, low-alcohol drink made from fermented cereals, kumus, low-alcohol drink made from mere’s milk, maksim, non-alcoholic drink made from fermented cereals and airan, non-alcoholic salty yogurt drink, made an extraordinary impression on all participants of the forum.

The guests were pleasantly surprised by the variety and taste of our national dishes. It was a good opportunity to share Kyrgyz culture, traditions and uniqueness with people from other nations.