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Kyrgyzstan – Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Kyrgyz Cuisine HistoryEdit

Kyrgyzstan is located in Central Asia. The country borders with China to the east, Kazakhstan to the north, Tajikistan to the south and Uzbekistan to the west. Once a part of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan gained its independence in 1991. Due to the mountainous relief which is fertile, the agriculture is the main sector of this country economy. The most significant crops in Kyrgyzstan are cotton, tobacco, Wheat, potatoes and Sugar beets. The Kyrgyzstan cuisine is heavy on meat ant milk products. As it was a part of the Soviet Union the Kyrgyzstan cuisine is very similar to Russian cuisine, but it has also absorbed elements from the other countries cultures like Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Indian and Korean. Although the Kyrgyzstan cuisine has a variety of influences the traditional recipes are also very common in Kyrgyzstan. The traditional Kyrgyzstan dishes are mainly served for special occasions, while in the every-day dishes you can find numerous recipes from other countries cuisine.

Cuisines of Kyrgyzstan Edit

Map of Kyrgyzstan

Map of Kyrgyzstan- Click to enlarge

Due to the fact that Kyrgyzstan cuisine reflects various influences, these culinary influences have been absorbed best by the regions of Kyrgyzstan which are nearer the culture from where they got the influences. In numerous parts of Kyrgyzstan mostly in the big cities like Bishkek, Russian cuisine is very common and it also includes European or Arabic elements. Outside the big cities mainly in areas like Batken, Jalad- Abad or Osh local dishes are more common. Meat is the most important ingredient in every Kyrgyzstan’s meal, while vegetarian dishes are mostly inexistent. The Turkish elements brought in Kyrgyzstan’s cuisine are pilafs, kebabs and stews; while the southern influences are reflected through the seasonings and the herbs that are included in the meals. In the Kyrgyz cuisine you will rarely find sauces or much spiced dishes, neither dishes which require chopped or minced meat because the people from Kyrgyzstan like to preserve the dishes taste and appearance.

Preparation Methods for Kyrgyz Cooking Edit

Kyrgyzstan cuisine uses elements from very various cooking traditions barrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Kyrgyzstan cooking, we should point out that attention to details is important in the Kyrgyzstan cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential- either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of the vegetables and cereals found in Kyrgyzstan is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportions differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Kyrgyzstan regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Kyrgyzstan dishes and cure and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Kyrgyz Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners , food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories, the Kyrgyzstan cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Kyrgyzstan dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Kyrgyzstan food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, and kitchen thermometers, measuring cups and measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking “arsenal”.

Kyrgyz Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

In Kyrgyzstan are held many festivals and celebrations. The most important holidays are: The New Year’s Day (January 1), Russian Orthodox Christmas (January 7), Women’s Day (March 8), Nooruz Hoopy (March 21), Constitution Day (May 5), World War II Victory Day ( May 9) and Independence Day ( August 31). In order to celebrate the most important holidays of the year and for other festivals, the people from Kyrgyzstan prepare special traditional meals. One of the national meals is the so called Beshbarmak which is a combination of meat and spaghetti and it is considered to be the best Kyrgyz dish. Beshbarmak is actually made of finely sliced Beef meat served with little squares of rolled-out unleavened dough boiled in the broth.

People in Kyrgyz Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking methods for traditional Kyrgyzstan dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Kyrgyzstan chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to the foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Kyrgyzstan chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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