Everything’s in a pickle

Winters in Kyrgyzstan are long and cold. Snows cover fields and there are no fresh vegetables available. As a result, a strong tradition of pickling has developed. They pickle all sorts of things: carrots, beans, peppers. Probably apricots for all I know.

Pickling here makes sense. You have to get your vitamins somehow in winter. What I don’t understand is why they choose to include so many pickles in their summer cuisines when fresh produce is abundant. The need to eat pickles exclusively in winter would, one would think, increase the appreciation of freshness in summer.

Sadly, Krygyz do not seem to share my views. We’re staying at a guest house that serves dinner including a soup. So far so good. The problem is the abundance of pickled veg in the soup means it tastes like how the liquid in a jar of gherkins smells. Not appropriate.

I rank the over use of pickles behind bridenapping but above the polo game played with a dead goat in my hierarchy of traditional Krygyz sins.

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