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Beşbarmaq, or Beshbarmak (Kyrgyz: бешбармак, Kazakh: беcбармак, Bashkir: бишбармаҡ, bişbarmag, Tatar: бишбармакfive finger), is the national dish among nomadic Turkic peoples in Central Asia.

The term Beshbarmak means "five fingers", because the dish is eaten with one's hands. The boiled meat is usually diced with knives, often mixed with boiled noodles, and spiced with onion sauce. It is usually served in a big round dish. Treating to beshbarmak is accompanied with an original ritual. The meat itself is served in large pieces. Beshbarmak is usually served with shorpomutton broth in bowls called kese.

Serving ritual[edit]

Beshbarmak with potatoes (Kazakh beshbarmak)

Beshbarmak is traditionally served according to ritual. Sheep's head boiled in a kazan is put before the most honored guest, usually the eldest one. This person cuts the bits and parts from the head and offers them to the other guests at the table. The younger adults often receive the bones of the legs and shoulders. Youths are given sheep's ear with wishes to be careful; girls get a palate so as to be diligent. The other parts of the carcass are not considered any less meaningful. The most respected guests are treated to gammon and shank. A young bride receives the brisket; however, married women are given the neck bones instead. Children are given the kidneys and heart, which are supposed to help them mature; however, children are not allowed to eat sheep's brain, because it is believed to make them weak-willed. Knuckle is never served to a young girl, because of the belief that it will cause her to forever remain an old maid.

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