Central Asian bazaars were the hubs of Silk Road commerce. Shaded stalls and caravanserais (inns), golden melons and heaps of fruit, processions of heavily-laden camels and donkeys, turbaned Tadjiks, Turkmen in shaggy fur hats and skull-capped Uzbeks, and the pervasive aroma of spices—all contributed to the atmosphere of a Central Asian bazaar.
The Fruit Stand
Heaps of golden and black raisins are piled in front of this fruit vendor. Over his head hang strings of dry round bread. Raisins are a traditional ingredient of the Uzbek national dish, pilaf or plov. Recipes for plov are handed down through generations. Plov generally consists of lamb, onions, carrots and rice, with raisins, chickpeas, or fruit added for flavor. Plov cooked in a cauldron over an open flame can serve up to 1,000 people on occasions such as weddings.