Samarkand - Registan St. - Food Stand

Uzbek Adventures, Part 5: Eating in Samarkand

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia, Samarkand is just a short ride from Bukhara, whether by road or by rail, thanks to the new super fast Afrosiyob trains. Just like in Bukhara, the visitors’ focus is usually on the impressive architecture. But as Uzbekistan’s second largest city, Samarkand has more to […]

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Croatian Food - Povitica

Povitica, Croatian Walnut Roll

Walnut rolls are common in many cuisines of Eastern Europe. Hungarians eat bejgli, Slovenians have potica, and Croatians make povitica, generally for Christmas and Easter. The dessert counts many variations: the layers can be thick or thin, the roll can be baked as a log or folded in a loaf pan, and poppy seeds can replace walnuts. […]

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Georgian Wine - Ramaz Nikoladze

An Evening of Georgian Natural Wines

I’ve been wanting to write about Georgian wines for quite a while now. First I promised I would include a chapter about Kakheti wineries in my Georgian Adventures series, and completely forgot about it (I’ll fix that soon). Then I started buying Georgian wines and jotting down tasting notes about them, but felt like a […]

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Bukhara - Ceramics

Uzbek Adventures, Part 4: Bukhara

Returning to Uzbekistan after a sojourn in Tajikistan feels a little bit like reaching the promised land after crossing the desert. A Tajik desert with decrepit Soviet relics, hellish hotels, hellish roads, hellish tunnels, and teapots half-filled with adulterated booze, where the only direction locals can point you is to your very own nadir. If you […]

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Czech Food - Vánočka

Vánočka, Czech Christmas Bread

Many Europeans countries share the tradition of preparing a kind of sweet bread, often with dried fruits, for religious holidays. Germany has Stollen and Italy eats panettone, while Russia makes kulich and Poland and Ukraine bake babka. In Czech Republic (and Slovakia), there’s vánočka, a rich plaited bread served for Christmas (vánoce means Christmas in Czech). A […]

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Tashkent - National Food Restaurant

Uzbek Adventures, Part 3: Tashkent’s Eateries

In Lonely Planet‘s Central Asia travel guide, the Eating section for Tashkent starts as follows: “You’ll eat better in Tashkent than anywhere else in Uzbekistan and perhaps even than most of Central Asia as a whole.” Although the authors seem to take into consideration some Italian and sushi restaurants about which I couldn’t care less, […]

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Tashkent - Chorsu Bazaar - Produce

Uzbek Adventures, Part 2: Chorsu Bazaar

As I mentioned in my last post, Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, doesn’t have the same touristic appeal as Samarkand or Bukhara. The 1966 earthquake caused massive destruction, and gave the USSR the opportunity to get rid of a good chunk of the old town, building in its stead a modern Soviet city with characteristic desolate avenues, occasional neoclassical […]

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