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Kazakh national drinks.

Dairy drinks of Kazakh kitchen.

The national drink, kumys, is made from fermented mare’s milk. In the steppes and sparsely-populated areas, shubat (camel milk) is рrеferred. There аге special rituals associated with kumys. 
This healing, toning drink varies deреnding on whеn it is рrерarеd (summer, winter оr spring) and the grass on the jailyau (summer pasture) where the mares grazed. The Kazakhs so venerated this drink that was considered a sin to throw out unfinished kumys from the сup.
Besbarmak is considered the centerpiece of the Kazakh dastarkhan. The Kazakh ethnic cuisine reflects the specific nomad lifestyle, customs and traditions. The succession of serving dishes has lasted out from ancient times. Our custom is to eat tastefully and with no haste.
Traditionally the cuisine starts with milk drinks. Guests are offered kumis (mare’s milk), shubat (camel’s milk) or airan (sour cow’s milk) that would not only quench your thirst but also strengthen your immunity. Then tea follows. Most of all it is served with milk or cream to the dastarkhan where there are baursaks, kurt (dried salted curd balls) and dried fruits (dried apricots, raisins and nuts). Milk and dairy products were broadly used.
Sour milk was preferred since it was easier to store in nomadic environment. Milk and groats is important for the Kazakh cuisine. Milk has all the nutrients that are necessary for an organism such as fat, proteins, carbohydrates, mineral salts and vitamins. 
The traditional cuisine rarely used raw milk. It was mainly used to produce various sour milk products. Some milk and groats dishes also provide for low fermentation.

Dairy drinks. Ak alyp shygu.

The dairy produce: rnilk, kumys (mare's rnilk), shubat (camel's rnilk), airan (kefu), etc Kazakhs саn 'ak' - white. They believe these products have holy power. For Kazakhs the white color embodies purity and loyalty.
Traditionally, Kazakhs meet new neighbors with foods necessarily of white color - 'ak alyp shygu', to express their hope for purity of their future relationships. In their turn new-settlers invite their neighbors to visit their house. Before that old inhabitants invite them for 'erulik'.
То disregard the inviting of new neighbors for "erulik" means to violate the custom.Traditional Kazakh drinks."Milking camel". Artist N. Khludov.Traditional Kazakh drinks. Milking camel.Traditional Kazakh drinks.In Kazakh yurt. Traditional Kazakh drinks.Traditional Kazakh drinks.

Authority: Kitchen of Kazakhs. Almatykitap. 2006

Photos by:
Alexander Petrov.