The food of Tajikistan, the poorest and smallest of the ex-Soviet Central Asian Republics, is wonderful, says Sam Fujisaka. It’s not a complex cuisine in terms of preparation, but every meal prominently features an immense variety of fantastic fresh fruit and delicious flatbreads. The country boasts a huge diversity of fruits and vegetables, of an exceedingly high quality. “The tomatoes and cucumbers are small, succulent, firm, and flavor bound – perhaps more so than any heirloom of farmers’ market in the US,” says Sam Fujisaka. A meat dish like stewed goat ribs, organ stew, or deep-fried trout might round out a meal, but the center of the meal is “huge platters of fruit and of tomato, cucumber, greens, and herb salad.”

In addition to the melons, figs, grapes, persimmons, and stone fruit on offer, a common local snack is the naturally sweet mulberry flower. “The mulberry flowers were sweet – so much so to be a new healthy junk food in developed countries,” says Sam Fujisaka, who also raved about another Tajikistan treat, mulberry molasses: “incredible in terms of depth of flavor, light sweetness, and smoothness in spite of very rustic, home manufacture.”

Board Link: Eating (healthy!) in Tajikistan!

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