A quick tutorial on the Silk Road. You really ought to watch this one [9:30]:
A look at Osh in late January:
Here’s a video delineating eleven excellent reasons to visit Kyrgyzstan [6:20]:
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The cuisine is meat-heavy (sorry, samb).
Traditional Kyrgyz food revolves around mutton, beef and horse meat, as well as various dairy products. The preparation techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's historically nomadic way of life. Thus, many cooking techniques are conducive to the long-term preservation of food.
It may not be possible to pinpoint the specific culinary stylings of Osh (YT is not being helpful), so I’m just going to go with Kyrgyz food here.
Kyrgyzstan is a country where a nomadic and sedentary culture united at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road. That is why the Kyrgyz national cuisine is an amazing combination of dishes of different Central Asian nationalities: Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Uighurs and Dungans.
Our intrepid travelers are going to taste Beshbarmak.
Beshbarmak is one of the most favorite and traditional Kyrgyz dishes, having Turkic roots. Beshbarmak is a chopped meat with noodles, onions and meat broth. It is noteworthy that traditionally beshbarmak is eaten by hands. This is the reason for the name of the dish: in translation from Kyrgyz, “beshbarmak” means “five fingers”.
And here are our intrepid travelers:
Welcome to Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country known for its incredible natural beauty. Many travel to Kyrgyzstan to trek the remote mountains, visit the high altitude lakes, and other thrill-seeking, outdoor activities. But we’re here to show a different side of Kyrgyzstan, one that is lesser known. We’re here to highlight the unique culture, history and cuisine of the Kyrgyz people.
From the YouTube description
Beshbarmak in a spectacular setting [23:33]:
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It’s been around quite a while.
Heralded as a charmed and cultured place, rich in fruit and nut forests, Osh flourished during the most prosperous periods of the Silk Road being used. Sulaiman-Too Mountain (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) dominates Osh. Here one can find the ‘throne of Solomon’ and atop which an ancient mosque was built by the Central Asian emperor Babur. While Osh has not been immune to conflict and tragedy, being razed to the ground several times, including by Genghis Khan, the city remains a vibrant town and a center of trade in the region. Today, the city blends Soviet architecture with older Kyrgyz buildings and tree-lined boulevards, filled out by small wooden houses which resemble those in Uzbekistan’s Fergana Valley.
Swan in flight:
Kuurdak is a sort of meat and offal stew, and very traditional [9:48]:
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The bazaar at Osh remains epic.
As we meandered through the Osh bazaar we sought to stock up on foods and replace some of our now-fading electrical kit and clothes; we were not disappointed. The market has almost everything the tired traveler seeks and remains the vibrant center of Osh, with locals selling goods, catching up with their neighbors, mending items, and even just simply relaxing, playing ping-pong or billiards. We were able to sample some of the local delicacies and yet again deploy our fast-developing bargaining skills.
Of particular interest to us was the diversity of the people in the Osh bazaar. Traders from around Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and China, facilitated by the multiple train stations in the surrounding area, congregate here to sell their wares.
For all you raptor fans — check this out:
Dumplings! I swear, every culture I know of has versions… These are most often spelled Manti, not Manty.
In Kyrgyzstan, we love to eat manty (dumplings) and eat it with family. Super delicious. We are glad to share recipe with the world.
From the YT description. Recipe in YT description.
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Kyrgyz folk singers still recite the lengthy verse epic Manas and other heroic and lyric poetry, often to the accompaniment of the three-stringed komuz, which is plucked like a lute.
Well, I only know what I read, but here’s some traditional Kyrgyz music played on the komuz. It looks only half-plucked to me. [4:32]
The YT description didn’t offer a local name for this; they just called it Kyrgyz Soup. It certainly looks delicious [3:12]:
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Ah, mountainous Osh:
With a remarkable five-headed crag leaping out of the very town centre, Kyrgyzstan's second city certainly has a highly distinctive visual focus. While there's little of architectural note to show for 3000 years of history, Osh's (Ош) sprawling bazaar and hospitable citizens provide an atmosphere that is far more archetypically Central Asian than you will find in Bishkek.
What a cutie!
And for dessert…
Borsok is a regional variation of a fried dough available in a number of countries in Central Asia. Made of flour, water, salt, butter, sugar, yeast, and vegetable or sunflower oil, it’s a simple dish that requires little in the way of money or culinary know-how. But it does require lots of time. Women work the ingredients into dough balls and fry them in a kazan (a wok-like frying pan) to create little golden nuggets. Families and guests eat the fried dough with butter, honey, jam, or a local version of cream cheese.
No special occasion, from weddings to holidays, is complete without tables covered in piles of borsok. But just as important, it’s prepared for devotional purposes, including honoring ancestors, bringing blessings, or as part of funeral rites. When someone dies, it is traditional to prepare borsok every Thursday for a year after their passing, as well as on the 40th day after their death and the one-year anniversary.
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In case you missed it…
Ancient Silk Road Cities #1 — Bukhara www.dailykos.com/...
Ancient Silk Road Cities #2 — Samarkand www.dailykos.com/...
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So c’mon into the cafe and grab a cuppa…
...and a nice nosh…
...and join us!
New Day Cafe is an open thread. What do you want to talk about today?