I firmly endorse, that there are several reasons to believe in environmental determinism in Kirgiz cuisine. Turning to geographical aspects, it should be mentioned that vast minority of the country is located above 3.500 MASL. Harsh conditions among pastures hidden in high mountains ranges, and long hours spent in a horse saddle within hard shepherd’ workout. There are the main indicators which stands for specific diet among locals – abundance of goat, sheep and horse meat, either animal’s fat to fill calories demand.
The heritage of nomad forty cribs of Kirgistan illustrates only slightly cuisine differences between particular regions, excluding Dungan community in the city of Karakol and south-east part of the country. Nonetheless, local cuisine is based on nomadic way of life, with a lack of vegetables and fruits. Main dishes are revolved around meat, which is predominantly boiled in a pot. In fact, the soviet period and turkish influence left own signs on the kyrgiz plate. As a result, native cuisine absorbed herbs, spices, noodles, pilafs and kebabs consumption.
Cuisine stands for the ceremony, especially Besh barmak emphasizes tradition and ritual. The dish is prepared form mutton meat, which is cut into pieces and boiled in an iron pot (kazan) until the sauce is ready. Plate is served with home-made noodles (lapsha) and it has to be eaten by hands – besh barmak means five fingers. This traditional meal use to be an companion of the holidays and official events, such as Noruz.
It is said, that other meal which the guest might be honored is plov. Eintopf dish based on boiled rice with fried vegetables, mainly carrot, onion and pieces of meat on the top.
Lagman, it is Dugan cuisine meal. Hand-made noodles with spicy souse and vegetables. Ganfan is variation of lagman, served with the rice instead of pasta.
Manty, steamed dumplings with lamb meat, onion and spices stuffing. The dish includes 3-5 as a portion, covered by sour cream.
There are a few snacks, which could be served as a meal. Oromo is vegetarian nosh similar to Samsy, filled with potatoes, onions and carrots. Although Samsy are also beaked dumplings, but with meat.
Kirgiz cuisine of Dungan people is much more spicy and diversified. The diet is affluent with vegetables and herbs. Tourists who are interested in non meat diet should visit salad-bars or Dungan café’s. Various meals are prepared with noodles or rice. It is common to find dishes prepared with potato pasta – krochmal, and Funchoza is the salad based on this type of noodles, with a relative spicy dressing.
Kirgiz cuisine ceremony is fulfilled with the omin, a like-face-washing motion, which gives thanks to God as the end of meal.