Two boys restrain a mare as a butcher prepares to slaughter her on July 23 for a Kyrgyz wedding. Never ridden and thus more tender and costly, she fed more than 200 people at the Bishkek celebration the next day.
The butcher has a full-service slaughterhouse in Bishkek’s western suburbs, roasting the ribs and rumps and stuffing the intestines as sausages, all within 24 hours, and then delivering to the wedding venue. Horse meat is slightly sweeter than beef or lamb, and lower in fat, but pricey. This horse cost roughly $1000. Though a popular part of the Kyrgyz diet, due to the cost and size of the animal, horse meat is often reserved for special occasions, such as weddings and funerals.
The slaughter, cooking and delivery cost was $90.
David Trilling is the Central Asia editor for EurasiaNet.