I had the pleasure of taking a break from the endless war analysis to write about the many glories—and challenges—of Kazakh food, for PBS:
I was less sanguine about kumys. There is a whole universe of milk-based products in Kazakh cuisine. Kumys, or fermented mare’s milk, is probably the most famous. I first smelled it on a train from Almaty to Karaganda, as my gruff, middle-aged bunkmate offered me a sip after hearing me complain of an upset stomach. I crinkled my nose and politely declined. Months later, I tried it. If the thought of fizzy, sour yogurt sounds appealing, be my guest.
Nathan, naturally, disagrees with my dislike of kumys (I also consider okroshka absolutely revolting). I also included some inauthentic recipes for Manti and a yogurt sauce! So I’m sure everyone will love talking about their favorite—and least favorite—Central Asian food in the comments.