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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Fisk

Central Asian Food Series: Kumis & Shubat

Okay… while this isn’t food, it is a big one here in Kazakhstan!!! It’s fermented horse milk! Yes, people drink it here often. Shubat is camel’s milk. Both are similar to kefir. Quite sour. The above pic is from when I was at a neighbor’s house a few weeks back and I totally drank (kumis) some. It’s so good for you. The locals drink it whenever they feel sick, they believe it kills anything. They are prepared a little differently, however. Kumis is made by taking raw unpasturized horse milk and fermenting it in a horse hide skin (traditionally) or in a wooden vat or plastic barrel. It is done over hours or days, and is stirred or churned. With shubat, you actually take the camel’ milk and also put it in a skin bag or ceramic jar and add previously soured camel’s milk to it. Depending on the temperature, it can sour from 8 hours up to 3 days. We personally don’t have either one often and don’t keep them in our home. But when we are offered it, we usually drink some. Andrew drinks them both while camping with “the guys” and I’ve also tried both either at bazaars, but at someone’s home or even fresh horse milk is better (there are some guys on the side of the road near our new GH that sell the kumis both ways right there, lol). But it’s definitely popular here, you can buy it anywhere, and even other Central Asian and Turkic countries drink one or both.🐴 🐪

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