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Tail fat

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Title: Tail fat  
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Subject: Adana kebabı, Fat-tailed sheep, Perilla oil, Marula oil, Clarified butter
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Tail fat

Fat-tailed sheep

Tail fat is the fat of some breeds of sheep, especially of fat-tailed sheep. It is fat accumulated in baggy deposits in the hind parts of a sheep on both sides of its tail and on the first 3–5 vertebrae of the tail. The weight of this part of a sheep's anatomy may be up to 30 kg (66 lb). These hind parts are used to accumulate fat for subsequent use during dry seasons, similar to a camel's humps.[1][2]

It is known under the name kurdyuk in Russian and in Central Asian languages, [3] derived from the proto-Turkic *kudruk meaning "tail" [4](cf. kuyruk, "tail", in Turkish, etc.[5]).

Tail fat is known in Arabic as لية, (leeyeh, leyyah, or layeh), zaaka in Algeria, kyuruk yag (literally "tail fat") in Turkish, and in Persian as donbeh or dombeh,[1] words which may be found in local food culture and in sheep breeds' names.

The rendered tail fat does not solidify at room temperature and is used in cuisine.[2] Crackling left after the rendering or frying of kurdyuk may be used as an appetizer.[1][3] When being rendered, kurdyuk emits a strong odour, described as "acidy-poisonous". However, it has a rich flavor when ready to eat. In particular it is used to cook kofta, pilav, and other traditional dishes.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, article "Курдюк"
  3. ^ a b Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia by Glenn Randall Mack, Asele Surina, p. 111, at Google Books
  4. ^
  5. ^
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