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Aport apples should become symbol of Kazakh cuisine: British chef

05 october 2014, 13:47
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Apple dessert made by British chef Cherish Finden ©Alisher Akhmetov
Apple dessert made by British chef Cherish Finden ©Alisher Akhmetov
British chef Cherish Finden. ©Alisher Akhmetov
British chef Cherish Finden. ©Alisher Akhmetov

Desserts with Aport apples may be a way to enrich Kazakh national cuisine. The opinion was expressed by Cherish Finden, British chef of the Langham Hotel in London, in an interview to Tengrinews

Aport are grapefruit-sized apples with red skin. The variety was brought from southern Russia only 10 years after Almaty city was founded in 1855.

Since then Almaty city has been widely associated with apples. The suburbs of the city used to be famous for their apple gardens. There used to be a lot of fruit trees in the center of Almaty as well. The Aport apples that used to be famous all throughout the Soviet Union became almost completely extinct after the disintegration of the Union, and only a few gardeners now grow these apples in their private orchards.

Cherish Finden came to Kazakhstan to be a judge at a cooking contest that was held in Almaty. The jury panel also consisted of an independent expert Nurbergen Makhambetov and famous Australian chef Kimberley Dru.

Three Almaty chefs competed in making Kazakh national desserts served in European style.

Guncham Tokhtabakiyeva won the contest. She will go to London for special master classes of the British chef.

Guncham made a dessert she called Kausar: Heavenly Delight using Kazakh national ingredients: talkan (milled sprouted wheat) and irimshik (crumbly cottage cheese). “This dessert carries elements of the Kazakh history, traditions and customs. The dessert includes talkan and irimshik. We improvised to present it in the European style. We used talkan as roasted nuts. Our illustrations display our steppes, mountains and shanyrak,” she said.

Kausar: Heavenly Delight dessert. ©Alisher Akhmetov

Desserts made by other participants. ©Alisher Akhmetov

During the seminar the British chef presented a dessert based on Aport apples. “We should use more Aport apples. There are a plenty of deserts where we can use Aport, like ice-creams, mousses, sorbets. You should make it your culinary symbol,” she said.

Desserts with Aport apples made by British chef. ©Alisher Akhmetov

Speaking about the Kazakh cuisine Cherish Finden said called it impressive. "Your cuisine is marvellous. I have never tasted horse meat before and was I very impressed with a horse meat salad," she said.

She also believes Kazakh cuisine should develop towards enhancing its dishes' quality. “I prefer not to create too many flavors. There should be some direction,” Cherish Finden noted.

Stimulating competition and organizing more such contests with international participants will contribute to development of new recipes in Kazakh cuisine, she concluded.

Reporting by Alisher Akhmetov, writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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