Kumis is one of the main drink in kazakh's traditional kitchen. In every kazakh's ceremony the number one drink is kumis. The word kumis means sour, fermented. Taste of kumis is bitter, but words are not enough to describe the taste of kumis. To pour out the kumis was big sin for kazakhs. From this you can see how kazakhs evaluate the kumis.
You probably noticed that kazakh people respect their guests better than anyone. This can be seen in process of making kumis. When spring comes, mare gives birth to colt, then mare's milk is taken. This milk is called "Саумал" and is not sour yet. We add special yeast to the milk and it kept usually for 2-3 days. Traditionally, fermentation take place in special container made of horse skin. It is called "саба" (saba). This is how it looks like
This container is very convinient, which might be left on the top of a yurt and turned over on occasion, or strapped to a saddle and joggled around over the day's riding. Today, a wooden vat or plastic barrel may be used in place of the leather container. Another container for kumis is "торсық"(torsykh) and it is very attractive. It has many types, below some pictures of them. This is made of skin of camel.
This is made of wood and skin of camel.
If my family did kumis nobody in my family is allowed to drink it. First person who should drink the kumis must be the old people for examle my grandfather or grandmother. This tradition is called «Қымызмұрындық». Actually fermenting process can be done during 4 hours. Longer kumis is contained in saba or torsykh the stronger it gets. Depending to the containing days kumis has various types and each of them has their own name.
Kumis drinking is very healthy and used for medical purposes. The healing power of kumis is proved by clinical testing. Kumis is rich in ferments, trace elements, antibiotics, vitamins A, B1, B2, B13, D, E, C, ethyl alcohol, lactic acid and carbonic acid. Kumis drinking has a healing influence on the work of gastrointestinal tract, metabolism, cardiovascular and nervous systems, sanguification organs and kidney work and develops immunity. Kumis is good in the case of emaciation and anemia.
If you want to drink real kumis visit East Kazakhstan.I was born in The East Kazakhstan, we have best horses in The Middle Asia.
If you are now in The East Kazakhstan you should visit city Semey, then look for Sarzhal's kumis in central bazar. If you will have some problems, contact me. I can find for you real kumis. Every visitors of Kazakhstan must drink kumis, you will be amazed by the taste of kumis.