Culinary Stops

Central Asia Plov Center in Uzbekistan

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Central Asia Plov Center in Uzbekistan
Photo Lisivka / Flickr

Tourists to Uzbekistan who wish to try a bowl of authentic plov, should either seek out an invitation to a wedding, or come here at noon.

Seen from the inside, it looks like a reception hall, and not one of the better ones. Seen from the outside, it looks like a campground with a half dozen sooty black cauldrons boiling on the open fires. Admittedly, one doesn’t decide to come visit the Central Asia Plov Centre in Taškent, the capital of Uzbekistan, because of the place’s appearance. But if you’re a tourist, it’s unlikely that you’ll be invited to a local wedding or funeral, so this is your best bet to get a good taste of the national dish.

Every day at around noon, hundreds of people line up here for a bowl of excellent plov, which is made daily according to different regional recipes. Supposedly, Thursday is the best day to come: there’s an ancient Uzbek tradition which dictates that men use the best cuts of meat on that day (following the Muslim calendar, Thursdays are comparable to the Christian Saturdays). Men also drink the oil used for cooking the plov, as it is believed to increase one’s libido.

Central Asia Plov Center
Ergashev and Abdurashidov

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