Uzbekistan: The food & markets special

The origin of this post lies in a series of arguments discussions I had with my mother about vegetarian food in Uzbekistan before I left for my trip in September 2015.

Amma was convinced that I would not get any vegetarian food or have too few options in Uzbekistan and was determined that I carry some food with me. I was equally determined not to carry any food with me from India, as I knew from the background reading I had done that I would get vegetarian food. This back and forth continued for days till we arrived at a compromise: I would take some snacky items with me, and as a bonus, I offered to send pictures of every meal I had in Uzbekistan to Amma at the end of each day.

The ‘compromise’ part was easy — two packets of a bhel mix and one of chaklis in my bag and I was done. The ‘bonus’ was more difficult. I had no idea what I had gotten into when I promised Amma those daily food updates. The reason? I don’t instinctively reach for my camera when food is placed before me; I reach for the food ! It was tough, not to mention a pain, to remember to take photographs initially. But slowly, I got the hang of photographing food before I started eating, instead of remembering halfway through the meal, or sometimes not at all. 😛

Food and Market Tales 1
The breakfast spread at my B&B in Bukhara, Rustam & Zukhra

But somehow, I managed to not only get some halfway decent pictures of the food I ate, but also other food-related things like markets and cafes (when I remembered to, that is)! Presenting my Uzbekistan food diary…

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The dessert box surprise

I love desserts. I love looking at them, love the way they are made, love their vibrant colours, their varying textures, their enticing aromas, their eye-catching decorations… I love everything about them, except eating them.

You see, desserts and I have a rather difficult relationship. I’m allergic to chocolates and artificial food colouring. Sugar doesn’t give me a high; it gives me acidity. As for nuts and other things that make their way into desserts, let’s not even talk about them, shall we? To put it plainly, I need to keep an anti-allergen or an antacid (and sometimes both) handy, if I plan on eating desserts. 😦

Since, I hate taking medicines more than I love eating desserts, there has to be a very compelling reason for me to have both — the dessert and the anti-allergen /antacid, that is. And last month I was presented with one such compelling and intriguing reason — the Brown Paper Bag Dessert Box, which I first read about here.

The Brown Paper Bag (BPB) Dessert Box is a ‘surprise’ box that contains six different desserts, hand-delivered to you on a designated day of the month, usually in the last week. The surprise is in the contents of the dessert box — one doesn’t know what desserts it contains till it is opened. Each dessert box is priced at Rs.750/- and one has to sign up for a minimum of 3 months.

Now, I love surprises as much as the next person, especially one as intriguing as this. And when I shared this with Neena and AS, my colleagues, they were equally intrigued. We decided to share the cost of signing up for the minimum 3 month-period and for the dessert boxes to be delivered at work. Once the payment was made, all we had to do was to wait for the first box to be delivered. And on 24th September, I got a mail saying that the dessert box would be delivered on the 28th !

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