Friday, November 12, 2010
Daisy just came back from a reporting trip to Kyrgyzstan and brought back some very interesting items from the markets in the capital, Bishkek.
At the top, three kinds of curds -- balls of salty, sour milk that are extremely popular there as a snack. Kids, especially, like them and collect small change to buy a bag of them as a treat.
They're pretty hard for a Western palate to appreciate, however. (They taste like rancid milk balls, basically. A friend compared the taste to what a horse barn smells like.) Although the kind in the upper left had more fat (and were more expensive) and tasted a bit like some prehistoric cheese found in a bog somewhere (I mean that as a compliment). I could see eating a few with a glass of beer, perhaps.
Fascinating how different cultures appreciate different tastes. For example, the Chinese hate cheese, from what I understand. And I can't explain why I love bleu cheese, which is basically streaked with huge veins of mold, and I don't like the curd balls.
In the lower left, dried apricots -- hard as rocks, but they softened in the mouth after a minute or so into something like candy, with the pit still inside. Delicious.
Then dried baby figs and some incredibly good roasted almonds.