Of their Food.
They eat indifferently of all dead animals, even such as have died of disease; and among such numbers of cattle and flocks, many animals must die almost continually. Bat in summer, when they have plenty of cosmos, or mares milk, they care little for any other food. When an ox or horse happens to die, they cut its flesh into thin slices, which they dry in the sun and air, which preserves it from corruption, and free from all bad smell. From the intestines of their horses they make sausages, better than those which are made of pork, and which they eat when newly made, but the rest of the flesh is reserved for winter use. Of the hides of oxen they form large bags, which they dry in a wonderful manner in the smoke. Of the hinder part of their horse skins they fabricate excellent sandals. They will make a meal for fifty, or even an hundred men, of the carcase of one ram. This they mince in a bowl, mixed with salt and water, which is their only seasoning, and then, with the point of a knife, or a little fork made on purpose, like those with which we eat pears and apples stewed in wine, they reach to every one of the company a morsel or two, according to the number; the master of the house having first served himself to his mind, before any of the rest, and if he gives a particular portion to any one, that person must eat it up, without giving any of it to another, or if he is unable to eat the whole, he takes it home with him, or gives it to his servant to take care of, if he has one, otherwise he puts it into his own saptargat, or square leather bag, which they carry always with them for such purposes, or for preserving any bones which they have not time to pick thoroughly, that they may clean them well afterwards, and that nothing may be lost.
How they make the Drink called Cosmos.
Cosmos is made from mares milk, in the following manner: They fasten a long line between two posts fixed in the ground, and to it they tie the young foals of the mares which are to be milked, by which means the mares are induced to stand quietly beside their foals, and allow themselves to be milked. If any mare happens to be unruly, her foal is brought, and allowed to suck a little, after which the milker again succeeds. Having thus procured a quantity of new drawn milk, it is poured into a large skin bag, which is immediately agitated by blows with a wooden club, having its lower end hollow, and as large as a man’s head. After some time the milk begins to ferment like new wine, and to acquire a degree of sourness. The agitation is continued in the same manner until the butter comes; after which it is fit for drinking, and has a pungent yet pleasant taste, like raspberry wine, leaving a flavour on the palate like almond milk. This liquor is exceedingly pleasant, and of a diuretic quality; is exhilarating to the spirits, and even intoxicating to weak heads.