Comments on: Central Asian Food: The Good, the Bad, and the Inedible http://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/ travel wide, live deep Fri, 22 May 2015 12:00:16 +0000 hourly 1 By: Daniel Nollhttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462130 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 23:02:04 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462130 Thank you so much, George. This is a beautifully written homage to true local cuisine in Central Asia. Pumpkin sambusas — the thought of how tasty they would be is killing me.

And it’s true, the tastes are delicate, and dependent so much on the interplay of fresh ingredients.

]]>
By: Daniel Nollhttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462128 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 22:58:19 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462128 Thanks, Veronika. A fascinating part of the world.

]]>
By: Georgehttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462094 Fri, 06 Mar 2015 04:46:30 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462094 I am living in Dushanbe now. I have had some incredible meals here. Pumpkin sambusas are nothing short of a vision. We went to a Tajiki household and had an incredible plov with succulent melt in your beef, chickpeas, raisins, onions, carrots, and delicious perfectly cooked rice. Then there were the stuffed grape leaves with flavored meat filling bursting with taste. We ate a medley of salads, one a standard tomato/cucumber affair, another made of preserved green beans, onions, tomatoes, and herbs (fantastic!) and quenched our thirst with homemade cherry compote. We practically had to be rolled home.

The best way to eat in Central Asia is at the household of someone who has fresh ingredients or has their own preserves. Central Asian cuisine is unusual and some times a little too rustic for most Westerners. However, when it is well made with good ingredients it has a delicate and subtle flavor which, unlike Indian cuisine for example, relies on the strength of the taste of the underlying ingredients rather than a medley of spices.

]]>
By: Veronikahttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462085 Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:24:42 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-1462085 Love those countries. I miss some Uzbek and Kazakh dishes. Great photos.

]]>
By: Daniel Nollhttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-454962 Tue, 31 Jul 2012 11:35:20 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-454962 @mehmet: Many parts of Central Asia may be historically ethnic Turkic. However, after the countries were absorbed into the Soviet Union, there was a lot of intermarriage between locals and Russians. So, I suppose you have pure ethnic (Turkic) locals, Russians, and those whose parents are of mixed heritage. And in the end, most often speak Russian to one another, regardless of their heritage. At least that was our experience in terms of how we witnessed business being done and Central Asian people interacting with one another.

]]>
By: mehmet ali ekizhttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-454931 Tue, 31 Jul 2012 08:11:24 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-454931 Boyyy the places were you have been are turkic not russian and eben if they can talk rusian thats a must have to talk or die action … i know the ressemblence between a mongol turk and a russian,so keep your head cooland say never rusian against a turk

]]>
By: Daniel Nollhttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-241266 Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:37:28 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-241266 @Valentina: Thank you for your comment. We were fortunate to try a number of dishes that you mention. Actually, we had a memorable beshbarmak during Ramadan at Song-Kul, Kyrgyzstan:
http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2007/10/goat-and-five-fingers/

Plov is excellent, one of our favorites. I think we had some in Almaty. We also ate it quite often throughout Uzbekistan:
http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/photos/picture/1201957606/

(We even ate some recently at our Kyrgyz friends’ house.)

We might have had a donar (doner?) at Zeylony Bazaar, but I actually remember having a really good one in another not-so-touristy Almaty neighborhood (forget the name) with our friend who lives there.

I would have hoped that our website is a testament to adventurous eating — and not just to wear the “look what I ate” badge, but to understand what the facets of a cuisine say about a culture. If we had our way, we’d probably never eat Snickers again. But when you’re stuck in the mountains with rock-hard bread and a sheep’s eyeball (after having eaten goat blood soup for the last two days), sometimes a Snickers is in order.

]]>
By: Valentinahttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-240916 Wed, 17 Aug 2011 17:56:54 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-240916 I was actually a little sad to see that Kazakhstan’s list was so small. The cheese samsa is kind of like a quesadilla on steroids; absolutely delicious — but not the talk of the town. Most are for sale at around 100 Tenge, or 68 Cents (that being the more expensively priced).

It might be an interesting note to mention that while Kazakhstan has an extensive list of delicious foods to enjoy, they’re all taken from different cultures. Beshbarmak is the pride of this country, for example. Any Kazakh-born will ask you if you’ve tried “our national dish, Beshbarmak… delicious, yes?”

Plov is also a country favorite and also one of my own. Oh, and if you’re going to the Zeylony (Green) Bazaar in Almaty, I’d say, try a donar. Another food not originally from Kazakhstan but still worth the buy if you’re wandering around hungry. It’s a big burrito stuffed with tender meat, french fries, onions, carrots and cucumbers, all panini-pressed together.

If you’re looking for a taste of American-style coffee, not far from the Green Bazaar is 4A Cafe, a shop owned by a man born in Boston. The baristas speak English and the coffee is exceptional. I mention this because of the Snickers referrence — sometimes it’s good to go to what’s familiar, even when you’re surrounded in delicious cuisine.

So that’s my two cents. I just felt I had to speak up for my beloved Kazakhstan because there’s a lot of good eats worth finding while in country. :)

]]>
By: Daniel Nollhttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-157503 Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:24:37 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-157503 @Emily: I can’t say that cuisine was the highlight of our visit to Tajikistan, either. However, that kurtob in Khorog was a site for sore eyes (and weary stomachs) after all the bread, potatoes and butter tea in the Pamirs and Badakhshan. Thankfully, the people in that region make up in warmth what they may lack in food variety.

]]>
By: Emilyhttp://uncorneredmarket.com/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-157087 Sun, 20 Mar 2011 15:34:15 +0000 http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/2008/02/central-asian-food-good-bad-inedible/#comment-157087 I think the entire population of Tajikistan should take mandatory cooking lessons – or at least introduced to the concept of butchering an animal by type of meat/body part/cooking method. I’ve never lived in a place where the local cuisine wound up being a disappointingly bland use of local ingredients. I’m surviving on Oranges imported from Pakistan at the moment.

]]>