Shoro is a legendary company, a true Kyrgyz success story, and the pride of every Kyrgyzstani. The 90s were very hard years for Kyrgyzstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country had a hard economic situation in a new capitalistic country. Shoro was the first successful company, that created a brand with the traditional national drink: Maksym. I have travelled to many countries, but have never tasted anything like maksym; it is our unique beverage. Every spring, summer and fall, Maksym Shoro is sold on the streets of Kyrgyzstan. It is more than just refreshing; it is also a very healthy drink, a valid symbol of Kyrgyzstan.
Maksym is made from cereals of barley, corn, wheat, and millet. First, it is boiled in water, and then it is fermented for 8-12 hours. It has a sour taste. It is rich in cellulose, B and C vitamins, as well as nicotinic acid. It is useful for strengthening the immune system, cleansing the digestive tract, and supporting the balance of blood pressure. Additionally, it has many antiallergic effects and many other positive effects on health. The Ministry of Health officially recognises it in Kyrgyzstan as being beneficial for health and encourages its use.
As I mentioned earlier, maksym is a traditional drink, that has mainly been homemade. Until the 90s, maksym was never cooked in the industrial conditions. As Kyrgyz people used to lead a heavily nomadic lifestyle, they needed food that could be preserved while travelling. That's why kymyz, the fermented horse milk, and Maksym were quite practical beverages. But, another reason why it came to be in the form of beverage was poverty. A bread requires lots of wheat, meanwhile, mixing a small amount of cereals with water makes a simple drink that many people could share.
If you want to try a homemade maksym, you can go to the Osh Bazaar. If you're going to try Maksym made in controlled, industrial conditions; you can buy a bottle of it at any kiosk, supermarket or shop. However, the best maksym is sold during the warm days, all around the streets of Kyrgyzstan, in the most crowded places, street intersections, parks, and roads. If you are into the drink and want to get to know the products of the Shoro company, you can also visit their brand store and find it there. Either way, trying this unique beverage, that can freely be called a symbol of Kyrgyzstan, is recommended to any tourist, who wants to get to know our cuisine and culture. It is a special drink with a special history.
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