Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Meat in Almaty

Our friend and dog-in-law Vladimir Beregovoy in Virginia had some intelligent things to say about feeding dogs, and also sent a photo his son Serge took while picking up a relative of our pups from our friends in Almaty.

"I believe in adaptation and body wisdom of a dog dealing with natural foods. I would get rather nervous, if feeding the "unknown", that can be in kibbled dry dog food. Adel is a perfect specimen of a natural dog of aboriginal origins. She cannot be killed or hurt by natural foods. Her aversion to vegetarian foods surprised me, because my Laikas like eating pankakes, pies, bread and potatoes. Adel turns her nose away, if offered these things. Kazakhstan is a country of meat eaters, all kinds of bichbarmaks, etc. Serge told me a lot about Almaty and he said that it was impossible to find a restaurant with any vegetarian dishes. With such a tradition and taste, their dogs were probably fed meats most often."

Instant nostalgia! We have stood in that very spot in the splendid Almaty "Greeen Market", and drunk fermented camel's milk 75 feet from there.

Kazakh citizens do like their meat, but a fusion of Turkic and Russian culinary traditions has many other delights (as Pluvialis may soon report). In the fall the market is full of an infinite variety of melons and apples (both originated nearby, the apples in the Tian Shan foothill visible from outside the market), plus fresh almonds that smell so strong you'd think they were marzipan, grapes, spices, slabs of sturgeon, huge catfish, pickled and smoked fish, pickled mushrooms..

And of course, fermented mare's and camel's milk and vodka...

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