Friday, November 12, 2010

Curds Away

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.


  1. Wisconsinites would appreciate those cheese curds.

    It is practically obligatory to buy some SQUEAKY cheese curds to munch on anytime you go to the Dane County Farmer's Market set up around the State Capitol building. The curds squeak against your teeth - that's how you know they're fresh.

    Brews, brats, and cheese are the three Wisconsin food groups.

  2. Believe me, these Kyrgyz curds don't taste anything like the curds you're talking about. I'd be surprised if you could actually get one down! There's nothing squeaky about them.