Kazakh cuisine is really amazing – it doesn’t have a large number of sauces that can change and improve any dish and neither has many spices; its charm is in the purity of the flavors, variety of cooking methods and amazing combinations of tastes.
Faced with it for the first time, few people can immediately understand what's what and where to start. Meal for the Kazakhs is a whole ritual during which certain rules of reception, seating and serving order of dishes are observed. All this is very interesting and unusual, so we will try to tell you about it as much as possible.
A little history as an aperitif
To understand the cuisine of a foreign nation, you need to understand what and how it was affected, making it what it is now. Any dish has its own history and often created not by a whim of the cook, but because of necessity. This is what characterizes the Kazakh cuisine - almost all the recipes here are very old and were invented by nomads hundreds of years ago based on the accumulated experience of survival.
Believe, in the harsh steppe there aren’t many opportunities for culinary delights, and people cooked from what was available: meat, milk and a very limited range of cereals and vegetables. Permanent migrations made sedentary farming impossible and in winter almost the entire diet of the Kazakhs was made up of semi-finished meat and milk products prepared in summer. But despite this, a variety of cooking methods and bold combinations of ingredients made the Kazakh cuisine one of the most recognizable and exotic in Central Asia!
Meat dishes, at the sight of which you will be scared ... interesting!
Asian dishes and Dombra Kazakh instrument on the table
Kazakh cuisine is not about tiny portions and jewelry serving. These are nourishing, rather fatty, and almost always meat dishes, which from time immemorial have played a single role - to make the stomach full for a long time. This is why their fierce appearances are sometimes a bit intimidating, but be rest assured, it is worth a try - and you will definitely love Kazakh cuisine. So, let's go through the most amazing and interesting of them:
Exotic drinks of the nomads
From time immemorial, the main source of calcium in the Kazakh land and the basis for most drinks was milk. There are quite a few varieties of it - cow, sheep, mare, goat, camel, and therefore many products were prepared from it. We will list the most basic ones that definitely deserve to be tasted! But we warn you right away: do not rush to draw conclusions after the first sip, Kazakh fermented milk drinks should be properly tasted to reveal its full creamy and versatile taste. So:
In addition to milk drinks, they make a huge amount of dairy products, many of which are quite familiar and habitual: sour cream, cottage cheese, butter, cheese, etc. The only difference is that it was often turned into long-storable semi-finished products, drying in the sun and withering in the heat.
Unlike any other: what makes Kazakh cuisine special?
The answer is simple - its identity. It originated as a consequence of nomadic life and was created to help people survive in harsh conditions. It does not have those subtle delights of European cuisine, where over each ingredient in the dish you need to perform a certain ritual and collect them all in a beautiful still life art. Almost all Kazakhs can cook with the help of a cauldron in which the food was fried, stewed and cooked thousands of years ago and also today. There are no spicy, burning hot and sweet and sour tastes of the East and Asia, there is no seafood or a lot of different vegetables and fruits.
But there are such combinations of meat, byproducts, dairy and flour products, which you could never even imagine in your life! It is incredibly tasty, juicy, creamy, tender and satisfying - this is how you can describe every second dish of the Kazakh cuisine. After centuries, all recipes continue to be relevant and regularly appear at modern feasts, delighting not only the Kazakhs themselves, but also foreign tourists, many of whom specially come to Kazakhstan for gastronomic adventures.
When exactly is the best time to visit Kazakhstan and how to get the most out of your stay in this country?
(ru) Казахстан радушно приглашает вас! И предлагает лучшие места и локации в Алматы, которые понравятся любителям истории и современности, взрослым и детям, молодежи и зрелым путешественникам.
Kazakhstan is a wonderful country for recreation and entertainment. And in its capital Astana there are many beautiful places that attract tourists from all over the world. There are real "pearls" here, once you see them, you will definitely not forget! Here is our list of wonderful places in Astana!