Kumys, koumiss, kumyss, kumiss
- Samo Jun 24, 2002 12:08 PM
Tolstoy had it. I want it.
re: GG Mora
Kumiss is generally fermented mare's milk. It's what Genghis Khan and his Golden Horde used to drink for fun. The horde being nomadic, it was the only guaranteed source of alcoholic beverage they had, which is the same reason the cossacks drank it. It's still made in Mongolia but I don't where you'd get it, and besides the fact that Tolstoy drank it, why you'd want to.
I know a guy who spent a year or so on an exchange in Kazhakstan a while back, and I gather he tried his fair share with the family he lived with. I don't think he was too crazy about it, but you've gotta be polite. He did say it causes a really wicked hangover.
I had koumiss in Kazakhstan a few years ago, and I found it very tasty. It is milky white, thin and watery, with a slightly sour tang and light carbonation (at least it makes your tongue tickle). It was particularly refreshing considering the other options available in Russia/Kazakhstan. No one drinks cold water (between the bacteria and the swampy smell, I'm not surprised), and sometimes the beer truck doesn't come for days or weeks. That pretty much leaves Kvas (made of fermented bread) and Grib (sugar water with a mass of fungus floating on it). Stacked up against these, Koumiss is delightful!