De Condimentis (12): Sour Cream
- In 1238, Subutai, chief General to the Khan, successfully took over Volga Bulgaria and Russia in a series of swift, bloody, engagements. The Mongols built a capital city, Sarai, on a southern channel of the river Volga, where the commander of the Golden Horde collected tribute from the various princes of Russia for the next 240-some years. Eventually growing to an estimated population of 600,000, Sarai was a teeming metropolis and one of the greatest cities of the medieval world. The Mongols brought to the Russian frontier a gift for disciplined mayhem, the horse archer, and the fermented mare‚Äôs milk, kumis.