Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition

Recipe Book of Kyrgyz Cuisine won a prize in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

1 April 2020 | Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – The Recipe Book of Kyrgyz Cuisine took third place in the Silk Road category at the twenty-fifth Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, which is the so-called Oscar of Culinary Literature and collects the best publications worldwide from 1995.

A cookbook with updated recipes of traditional dishes of Kyrgyzstan is one of the results of joint cooperation between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the partner-organization “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative” and local residents of the Suzak region of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The idea of producing such a book arose during the implementation of the pilot project “Productive social contract/Cash+”, aimed at supporting low-income families with children, which receive the state benefits, for the development of small-scale nutrition-sensitive agriculture through advisory services and nutrition education.  The efforts were emphasized at enchasing the culinary knowledge of the vulnerable rural population in accordance with the principles of a healthy diet through an innovative approach to the production, processing and consumption of food. Desiring to apply the knowledge gained during the trainings and to improve their skills in practice, the beneficiaries took the initiative to improve some local cuisine recipes and make them richer in terms of nutritional value and more diverse in terms of diet.

Initially, the publication meant to be a reference book for everyone who wanted to make their favorite dishes nutrient and serve as memories for the pilot beneficiaries in the Suzak region of Kyrgyzstan, whose stories were also a part of this publication. But in time, this cookbook has become an example of how such initiative as improving a diet of rural population through traditional recipes by using local agricultural products could be recognized internationally and inspire millions of people to make traditional dishes healthier and to improve eating habits.

The cookbook is now available for download in Russian here.

The pilot program “Productive social contract/Cash+” is an integral part of the FAO project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in selected countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia”, funded by the Russian Federation.