- The Plate
Kazakhstan: Where Horses are Revered and Eaten
The yurt smelled of horse. Not in a way I was familiar with–like the nutty odor of a wet saddle pad, which makes me pine for a mountain trail. This eau de equino was the smell of cooked horse meat. And it wafted from a platter being passed in my direction.
This was my first encounter with Kazakhstan’s popular dish beshbarmak. It’s made of boiled horse meat, served on a bed of noodles. Under the light of a bulb strung from the yurt’s rafters (powered by a bank of solar panels outside), the boiled noodles glistened and the fatty meat sparkled. It looked slippery, giving me hope that I could choke it down without making