Food Mondays: Chicago's Kyrgyz Community
Kyrgyzstan is a central Asian country that borders China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In the past 15 years, Chicago’s Kygyz population has exploded. While there were virtually no Kyrgyz residents in the city a couple of decades ago, today there are thousands. As the community has grown, so has the Kyrgyz restaurant scene. Worldview’s food, health and culture contributor Monica Eng wanted to know — and taste! — more, so she recently met up with Kairat Mavlyankulov, a leader in Chicago’s Kyrgyz community, to learn more about the community’s origins, foods and concerns. Mavlyankulov has been in Chicago since 2002 and takes us on a journey through Kyrgyz food, from plov to manti.