Eating Out in Kyzylorda
Bish parmac, or "five fingers", is the one meal you cannot leave Kazakhstan without experiencing. This traditional Kazakh meal has it all, from fermented camel milk to horse meat to the main dish - noodles, mutton, and for the honored guest - Lamb's head. This delicacy is to be distributed by the honored guest with a blessing, first the ear to the youngest in the house, and then the other pieces - the tongue, the eyes, etc. as the honored guest sees fit. Dancing, singing, and toast after toast where guests are encouraged to "drink to the bottom" are all enjoyed at this meal, typically eaten on the floor or a very low Kazakh-style table. Guests are usually invited to recline between courses. Pace yourself - because if you eat at the same pace as is typical at more Western tables, you won't make it, and you don't want to offend!