Exploring Food & Ingredients in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
November 11, 2017
Let me take you on a tour of some of the dishes being served in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. First up, lunch with Asylbek Jeenbekov who is the brother of the President – Elect, Sooronbay Zheenbekov. Originally from the countryside with a great appreciation for agriculture and beekeeping he discussed the export of their pure white honey and we talked about what laws need to be enforced to protect the integrity of this fine product and implementing lab testing to international standards. The use of antibiotics in the product needs to be prevented. I would like to see some sort of national beekeeping collective which receives support from the government with initiatives like technical training to enable the production of pure white honey to grow.
With Asylbek Jeenbekov and Aziz who made the introductions before going in for lunch at Frunze
An appetizer of dried fruit; sultanas, apricots, halwa, cashews, dates, crystalized natural sugar with pureed raspberry in the centre.
Fresh water fish with caviar and hollandaise sauce with seasonal vegetables
Dessert was a mango crème brule with pistachio ice cream on bed of pistachio crumbs with a honey sauce
FRUNZE restaurant which is the former Russian name for the capital Bishkek and is based in a stunning historic building.
It was an excellent lunch with esteemed company and I look forward to more discussions with government officials in the future to help sustain the honey producing industry and see it reach more people across the world.
More central Asian dishes I sampled in Bishkek include at restaurant, Faiza:
A pasty filled with beef & onion
Dumplings filled with pumpkin & onion
Rolled crepes filled with soft cheese curd dipped in sweet cream
Beef shank & vegetable stew
Pan fried mushrooms with a blob of mayonnaise, amazing!
Fruit Kompot, a national drink
I’m loving my time in Kyrgyzstan, situated between Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east.
Its not an easy place for a vegetarian as the diet is heavy on meat, though I was assured the meat is grass fed and free from added hormones. Bread is a huge part of their culture, its served with everything and because of being landlocked, mountainous and clean agriculture is a huge part of living and the economy.