When we arrive in a new location, we usually seek out the local market. This is how we orient ourselves. Markets provide an easy way to meet real people in a friendly context. They also offer an insight into local food and culture. Central Asian markets proved no different. We found ourselves frequently sampling local fruits (OK, having fruit heaped upon us by the lapful) and talking with vendors about their products. We decided that the markets, the vendors and the produce in Central Asia deserved a video.
As in the rest of the world, food markets from Turkmenistan to Tajikistan are very slowly being replaced by supermarkets, but traditional markets still play an important role in Central Asian societies and economies. Not to mention, in some smaller cities and villages, the market was often the only thing going on in town.
The video below features market scenes and fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, sweets, clothing — you name it — from throughout Central Asia. This is some of the very best that the Turkmen, Uzbek, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Tajik cultures have to offer.
Video: Central Asian Food Markets
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