In a word, delicious!

One of my favourite things about travel is trying all the new unfamiliar foods that one encounters. Here are a few of the delights I discovered while traveling through Kyrgystan and Tajikistan.

Manty – juicy dumplings filled with beef and onions
Fresh bread and fig-like fruits. Bread is always served with every meal and it’s considered bad luck to put it upside down.
Breakfast
Nearly every meal starts with a hot bowl of soup. And bread, of course. The bread is quite robust and it’s very satisfying to tear apart
More spices in one place than I’d even know what to do with them all
A soup featuring beets, cabbage, potato, and sour cream, topped with dill. This reminded me of borscht.
Salad is often served without any dressing but frequently includes generous amounts of herbs, especially dill. Central Asians love dill.
Grilled meat is very popular, either as kabob or as in the quail here, butterflied and grilled over hot coals
Mastava – a filling vegetable soup that features boiled rice, much like congee. Another similar soup is Lagman, which features noodles rather than rice.
Bread is an important part of every meal and you can always find it fresh
Fried fish caught from a high altitude stream
Sweet juicy melon is in season (late September and early October)
Plov (pilaf) is one of the most common dishes. This one features sparse amounts of vegetables and meat, both of which are in short supply high in the mountains
Much like plov but here we have noodles rather than rice
One of the most delicious fruits I’ve ever eaten. Sweet, juicy, and it just falls apart as you bite into it
Tajikistan’s version of KFC
But instead of fried chicken, they serve pizza
And just in case you were feeling homesick craving a Big Mac
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8 thoughts on “What does Central Asia taste like?

  1. Hi, Justin. Your last review of Central Asian kitchen is simultaneously exact and concise. Exact in regard of main dishes, concise in part of deserts, fruits (fresh and dried) and “chai” – tea. CA deserts are abundant, sweet and often, dew to proximity, resemble Turkish and Persian delights.
    I know the subject a little bit after several weeks long hiking, canoeing, riding camels, horses etc. in Kazakhstan and Kirghistan.
    One side glance – in Soviet times (1970th-90th) we charmed rarely affordable exquisite red thick wine UzbekistOn, which, agree, is rather strange product for Islamic country. Actually, nothing strange, if one recollects wine related poetry of Persian genius Omar Khayyam.
    Vlad Ulyanov – your devoted thankful reader.

    1. Thanks Vlad! Uzbekistan wine would indeed be interesting and unexpected. I’ll have to try some next time I visit Central Asia. I’m glad you’ve had the opportunity to try some delicious food from this part of the world too.

  2. *20 Oct. Thanks for the photos. To see KFC eatery and a Mac Dolands ( guess they made a mistake in the spelling which should have been MacDonalds is* * quite amazing.*

    * Michael T.*

    On Sat, Oct 20, 2018 at 12:53 AM Eating Snow Around the World wrote:

    > Justin posted: “In a word, delicious! One of my favourite things about > travel is trying all the new unfamiliar foods that one encounters. Here are > a few of the delights I discovered while traveling through Kyrgystan and > Tajikistan. ” >

    1. The fish was fried, which isn’t my favourite because that kind of changes the flavour and you can’t tell how fresh it is, but it was still yummy. Mostly, it was quite a novelty to eat fish in the mountains at 4000m in elevation. That’s pretty unexpected! There’s some great food in Central Asia. Hope you get a chance to visit and discover it all for yourself!

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