This evocative tour of the culinary landscape of Central Asia includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, linking them and distinguishing them through portraits of cooks and food producers who live there.
Caroline Eden, author of Black Sea, has a wonderful eye for details that are sure to surprise cooks and readers who have not travelled this part of the world. A museum in Tashkent, known for its collection of avant-garde works, offers a collection assembled in part by its founding curator’s gift for plying artists with the right food. A giant Soviet era grain silo rises from the steppes of Kazakhstan still sporting its propaganda slogan in red letters. Pass through busy markets, isolated shrines, and fields of wild herbs. See tiny pears growing wild in the lands where the fruit likely originated.
And there is, of course, the food, highly seasonal in a place where seasons truly matter, and reflecting influences from every direction. Khunon, a roulade-style open dumpling; a spicy braised tofu dish with bitter green peppers; dimlama, a harvest stew with lamb and quince; fatir maska, a free form dessert that combines yogurt and hazelnuts with the flavorful melons that abound in the region.
We’ll always prize books emphasizing the culture from which food springs, and this is a very strong example.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.