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Chack-chack –  favorite since childhood

Chack-chack –  favorite since childhood

Chack-chack –  favorite since childhood

September 24, 2018

For the third consecutive year, the public association of Tatars and Bashkirs of the Akmola region (Northern Kazakhstan) is holding the national holiday “Chak-chak bayryame”.  And although the “autumn time – feast for the eyes …”, nevertheless only for the very first time the sun was shining and the Tatar activists   could unfold  on the square at the Palace of Public Accord. Last year,  the current event because of bad weather was held  at the premises. However, talking with the participants, I can confidently say that the fighting spirit from this did not become passive at all.

The excitement was enough for me personally because  I was the first time to participate in the contest of our famous sweet dessert. As a veteran journalist, I certainly dared to bake not a traditional dish, but to bring creative work to the jury. My chak-chak represented a unique corner of our “Kazakhstan Switzerland” – Okzhetpes Mountain in Borovoe. I can be proud: after the grand prix, the akim of Kokshetau city, awarded to Khurriya Fatkhiyeva, I was awarded the first prize.

Allow myself a short excursion into the past of the chak-chak.

The fabulous and at the same time quite real world of the East and traditional oriental sweets, fragrant with honey, exotic flowers and nuts, allow us to enjoy their unique tasty  palette. After all, it was the oriental gourmets who gave us rahat-lukum, pastilles, halva, marshmallows, candied fruits. By the way, the favorite ice cream is also from the East.

Needless to say, in the distant past, all the oriental sweets were made by apothecaries and medicine men, who tried to give a fabulous taste to not particularly tasty medicines. And today in the East, confectioners are highly respected, and the assortment of oriental sweets has at least two hundred names, among which the chak-chak deserves a special attention.

Chak-chak is a favorite oriental sweet in the cousin of the Turkic peoples in Bashkiria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and in many other countries actively engaged in beekeeping and agriculture. Oil, flour, eggs, milk and honey are all that’s needed for a delicious chak-chak. Fresh, fragrant chak-chak gives the opportunity to smell exotic flowers, honey and feel all the power and magic of the East.

Previously, this dish was considered more festive, like a cake for special occasions. And now there is no longer a special occasion to make chak-chak and eat it.

Here is another chance to show the skill of our Tatar cooks introduced at the festival “Chak-chak Bayrame” in Kokshetau.  This event was initiated, which, along with Sabantuy, the traditional and beloved among the people, was  by  the relentless propagandist of customs and culture of the Tatars, the chairman of the ethno-association Raphael Sulkarnaev.

Opening the celebrations, he cited the statement by  the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, that as children in the family there are not many, so the holidays can not be superfluous. The concert program delighted the audience with many brilliant performances. The folklore ensemble “Galiyabanu” ( chief  Saken Karbayev), the youth ensemble “Yashlek”, the soloists of the Russian community T. Kulygin and I.Permyakov, the ensemble “Rhythms of the mountains” of the Chechen-Ingush center, playing the violin A.Krasnikov can be named in this row.

And at this time the tables were laid with the culinary delights of the participants of the festive competition. 14 masters of baking claimed the title of the best. The eye was pleased with the rich assortment. In addition to the chak-chak, the delicious flavors of such dishes as gubadia, ech-pouchmak, kosh-tele, paramyach, kyymak, shanki, dushmak, kalian pies, with potatoes and meat, with cabbage tickled the nostrils. It was hard for the jury headed by Manat Ismagulov, the director of the Palace. I already have named  the first. And afterwards guests from Astana were awarded. Then Kokshetau craftsmen Sarvar Mubarakshina, Gulsina Valeeva, Anuza Urmanova, Roza Tkacheva, and others did not ignore. Particularly has been marked  the youngest participant – a pupil  of the Sunday school Alla Burda. Not for nothing the school classes were moved by the teacher Gaukhar Aminova from Sunday to Saturday. They were dedicated to the history of the Tatar dessert chak-chak.

And how not to mention our sponsors! Rinat Kurmaev, Feira Zagreeva, Gulmira Serazhieva, Rashid Akhmetov, Rinat Ashirov, Farhat Ishmukhametov, and others. Zur Rakhmyat!

To the holiday to become  a success, many forces and talents were attached by Galina Rybakova and Naila Seidalina.

… I had my own chak-chak in my childhood. It  somehow in a special way  baked my grandmother and mother. Of course, it was purely festive. And nowadays the words “Viva, chak-chak!” sounded  not once in the speeches. So let this glorious tradition continue to live on!


Larisa AITOVA,

Kokshetau, Kazakhstan.


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