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narratives of kumis consumption and production


Academic year: 2023

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It is also part of the traditional cycle of horse farming and the modern small business production that flourishes in the countryside around big cities. In my study of kumis consumption in the major urban centers of the Republic of Kazakhstan, I want to understand the motivations of those Kazakhstani urbanites who consume kumis in their daily lives. He acts as the main producer of the kumis brand "Qazaq House", a brand that has some presence in the local market of Nur-Sultan.

After reaching campus, the Almaty samples were stored in the refrigerator of my dormitory at 4 oC until the day of the taste experiment. I decided to go back and collect more data, do interviews with kumis producers in the villages close to the city and observe the availability of kumis stock inside the supermarkets.

The places of kumis in urban Kazakhstan

I first approached the vendors in the bazaar by going to each of the stalls and asking if I could get a three kumis. The stalls that form part of the milk product section are in the center of the gallery. While on the bus, I understood the reason related to the high influx of people visiting this area of ​​the city.

The third phase of the project involved a visit to the former capital of Kazakhstan: Almaty. During the first part of the fieldwork in Almaty, in the dairy section there were nine stalls dedicated to the sale of kumis along with other dairy products such as shubat, irimshik, smetana and kurt. This "man" figure is most likely their husband, who is himself involved in the production of the drink.

The milk products department is in the left corner of the store next to the.

Table 1. Races of horses in Kazakhstan used for milk production.
Table 1. Races of horses in Kazakhstan used for milk production.

Seasonality of kumis, safety and transportation

In the Nur-Sultan part of the steppe, as Bakhyt said, it makes it difficult for plants to grow due to a greater salinity of the soil. A higher salt content in the soil can cause the mare's milk to lose a bit of its sweet flavor and thus provide a more sour taste to the drink, while in Almaty there is more availability of plants in the countryside. The personal bias of the population not to consume koumiss during autumn winter is probably guided by the assumption that koumiss in winter comes from the remains of the autumn season that become sour due to the fermentation process.

According to Doreau (1989), a French veterinarian specialized in the study of the morphology and histology of mares, milk is produced through the mammary gland. The difference in domestic kumis production is that it uses less equipment to monitor the conditions compared to the industrial production process, where the temperatures for inoculating the microorganisms in the mare's milk and preserving the kumis are monitored by special equipment. After the examination, there are no changes in the mare's organs, the mare is milked with the right hand.

Then the ash of a flower called tobylghy is added to preserve the quality of the drink in terms of preserving its characteristic color (light yellow) and inhibiting the emergence of an acidic taste in the early stages of fermentation. One of the issues of concern in the local mare's milk industry is the need to develop new methods to extend the shelf life of mare's milk and colostrum. Therefore, it is important that research centers and dairy industries in Kazakhstan develop a method that can provide a similar result as pasteurization with mare's milk, but without affecting its physical and sensory properties of the product in accordance with quality control rate. established for kumis and mare's milk in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In terms of safety, it has been determined that kumis must be rejected if the microbiological analysis shows the presence of coliform bacteria in the form of Escherichia coli and Salmonella in 0.1 g and 25 g per 1 liter of horse milk sample. The gallons in the van, despite not being labeled, were clean and stored in cardboard boxes. After finishing storing the kumis in the refrigerator, both men proceeded to wash their hands.

Who are the consumers of kumis?

In terms of starting higher education, Kazakh students enroll in university between the ages of 17-22. Although 13 of Nur-Sultan's residents are from the north, only 3 indicated that they were born in Nur-Sultan. All three surveys asked about the frequency of consumption in the form of the question "How often do you drink koumiss".

Eighty percent of social media survey respondents said they first tried it as a child (see Table 8). In terms of the “most frequent” consumers, men at the supermarket in this category were 67%, while women were only 25%, and in the social media sample, 16% of men responded that they were the most frequent consumers versus those on age. who self-reported as the most frequent consumers of the drink were among the bazaar sample – at 90%.

According to the words of the producers in Chapter 2, seasonality, weather and the natural resources found in a certain area of ​​the country are linked to the taste of kumis. Summer was the preferred season for drinking kumis by 64% of social media participants. According to the words of Bakhyt and salesman Samal from the Artyom bazaar, people prefer to eat kumis in summer because of the drink's freshness and slightly sweeter content.

Most of the production and distribution of kumis in Nur-Sultan comes from Karaotkel. There are many kumi producers in that village. Two samples were purchased from the bazaars of Nur-Sultan (Artyom and Shanhai), while the rest of the samples were purchased from Saryarka and the Green Bazaar in Almaty. So far, the companies' efforts to promote kumis on social media have been insufficient.

Urban consumers of all age groups of kumis still prefer to buy from local producers, despite the greater distance between villages and cities. Although most consumers I spoke to in supermarkets reported that they did not enjoy the taste of supermarket kumis, some still buy industrially produced bottled kumis for their own convenience.

Table 3. Survey for buyers of kumis in Social Media in Russian and English  language.
Table 3. Survey for buyers of kumis in Social Media in Russian and English language.

Since everything was closed at that time, I checked into the Turkestan Hotel, in front of the Green Bazaar (Makataeva 42). The plan for day one was to conduct participant observation of the Green bazaar, collect interviews with the vendors, apply the survey with the customer visiting the milk product department. My plan was to interview at least 2 sellers of kumis and collect at least 10 survey responses.

This company acts as a frontrunner in the production of kumis and shubat in the Almaty region, part of the sale of these drinks, which has begun to innovate the market by offering the transformation of the traditional drink such as pelmeni with camel or horse meat, ice cream, kurt etc. The woman I interviewed seemed to be in her 30s, with curly black hair, thin, white skin, brown eyes, she was wearing an apron with the Daulet beket logo and a pink t-shirt that day. Before starting the interview, I introduced myself and said that I was a first-time visitor to the city and that I was looking forward to the opportunity to taste kumis in Almaty.

She was very friendly, at first she fought I was Kazakh, but when I asked for advice about what to visit near the green bazaar, she checked if I wrote in English and then she was happy that I was so interested in the culture from Kazakhstan and speaks Russian. She gives me a brief testimony of what kumis means to the people of Kazakhstan, which products Daulet beket advertises with the use of mare's milk in addition to kumis, whether she knew other places where they could help me with the production in Almaty or the preferences of the consumers to better understand Kumis in the city, etc.

The current interview took place in Nur-Sultan, in the village of Koktal, in the house of a producer named Bakhyt. I went to Galmart and I look if the Qazaq House brand is in the dairy products section, presentations of 1 L, 2 L, 5 L. Most of the Kazakh population in the villages have a few horses (mare), and they Care them, milk them, etc.

As you can see, we are here in Nur-Sultan in the steppe and there are not many fresh herbs growing, today yes, but 15 years ago there was nothing here. The milking season starts in spring, but they buy kumis more during this period because they don't want to buy in summer because of a high influx of people who do their shopping in the bazaars during this period. Our bottle of kumis costs 700 tenge, but I don't know how much it costs either in bazaars or supermarkets.

It depends on the market, we check the price standard between the kumis brands in the stores and make a decision based on that. The milking season starts in the spring, but they buy more kumis during this period, because in the summer people don't want to buy it because of the big rush. For example, Russians, we have plans to expand the market to Russia in the future.

But if we talk about the drink and not about turning it into another product, I see that kumis production will remain at the regional level, like Nur-Sultani based only on the case of our local producers who live in the region. Yes, it is logical, because in bazaars there are only kumis sellers, but not producers, therefore in a bazaar you can have kumis that claim to come from different countries. The koumiss is mixed in the container 2000 times, each producer has their own secret, which is to include air in the drink and bring the good bacteria to the top.


Table 1. Races of horses in Kazakhstan used for milk production.
Figure  1.  Kumis  in  the  supermarket.
Figure 5. Prirechnoe village. The place where the kumis sold at Big Shanhai comes  from
Figure  6.  Distance  from  Il´inka  to  the  Eurasia  bazaar.  Each  division  in  the  map  represents 0.5 km

Ақпарат көздері


It is established that the signs attributed to the group, including technological features of the production of vegetable oils, correspond to the information reflected in the labeling