You are about to visit a fair in Almaty, Kazakhstan. We are not sure if you get hungry after seeing this, but for people fairs held from time to time is a nice opportunity to buy food cheaper than usual. That day a lot of meat was offered for sale.
Everything was starting quite tritely: from onions, potatoes and cabbage. It’s quite ordinary for October. But then let’s turn out the corner…
Here is what we can find there… A lot of mutton!
Do you often see people carrying carcasses on their shoulders?
But it’s quite ordinary for Kazakhstan. Meat, mainly mutton and horseflesh, is the most important element of the national cuisine.
They like to joke that the Kazakhs are the second meat eaters in the world … after wolves.
Meat eating culture has been forming in the country for centuries by nomads.
Real Kazakh can eat a lot of meat at a stretch. When a boy doesn’t eat much meat he is told to be “adam bolmaidy” which means “won’t become a man”.
Horseflesh is probably the favorite meat in Kazakhstan. They cook a big variety of dishes from it.
The best age of horses to give meat is two or three years old. Sometimes they are fed much before slaughtering in order a layer of fat on the belly exceeded the palm width.
They always procure meat for the winter season.
However people of Kazakhstan do not eat so much meat they used to eat long time ago. Horseflesh is already considered to be special delicacy. While cooking traditional dishes it is often combined with other types of meat or fully replaced by mutton or beef.
“Beshbarmak” is the prime national dish. Its name is translated as “Five fingers”. The dish represents a large amount of meat broth with noodles. It should be cooked from mutton or horseflesh, sometimes beef and goat’s flesh can be used.