There’s a little ol’ place in the middle of the world known as Kyrgyzstan.
Fermented horse milk.
You read that right.
We learned on our visit to the jailoo south of Osh that horses need to be milked up to 5 times a day.
After watching the process happen right before our very eyes, we learned that milking horses was a pretty full-on activity.
When a horse is milked, a few things can happen.
First off, the family might come out with their bowls and buckets and each down some of the warm, fresh milk straight squeezed from the horse’s teat.
Another popular outcome involves storing the milk in a bag… a goat skin bag…
Over the course of hours or days, the milk is churned or agitated occasionally to promote fermentation, thus giving kumis, the outcome beverage, an alcohol level similar to a mild beer.
Beer, however, goes down a whole heck of a lot smoother!
When you visit a yurt in Kyrgyzstan, you will most likely be served with some of the delicious kumis in a giant bowl that you will find incredibly hard to drink. It’s a taste almost sharp to the tongue, and the goat skin bag definitely lends some flavors of its own to the drink.
Before heading to the jailoo, I told our guide that I really didn’t want to drink the drink — I had drunk it before and knew of its harsh flavor! But I had to. I had to touch it to my tongue.
We had it at one yurt.
And then at another.
At the second one, I asked the woman to give me just a little bit.
“Why?” she asked me in Russian.
“Because this flavor… it is hard to drink,” I responded.
“But it’s healthy,” she said.
And to that she gave me a healthy dose.
This is the worst for us. What’s the most disgusting drink you’ve ever had on your travels?