Uzbek food reflects the culinary cuture of Uzbek. The seasons influence the food menu to a large extent. Uzbekistan is very fertile and vegetables, fruits and nuts are a plenty in summers. Uzbek is rich in fruits – melons, grapes, apricots, watermelons, apples, pears, pomegranates, cherries, figs and quinces are in abundance. Apart from fruits, vegetables like yellow carrots, green radishes, turnips, eggplants, tomatoes and cucumbers are ubiquitous.
The winter diet typically includes vegetables and dry fruits. Pasta and noodle based dishes are common during chilly winters.
Mutton(sheep meat) is the preferred meat in Uzbekistan. Horsemeat and beef are also consumed. Goat meat and camel meat are not as common.
Uzbek culinary has many dishes that are fiery and hot. The spices used are red and black peppers, black cumin, coriander, barberries and sesame seeds. Commonly used herbs include parsley, cilantro, basil and celeriac. Seasonings are done with fermented milk products and wine vinegar.
Bread is the staple food and there is good variety of breads in Uzbek cuisine. Lepyoshka or flat bread is made by baking in the tandoor ovens and is often served with the main course or even with tea. Other varieties of bread include stuffing of meat, onion, sesame seeds or other fillings.
Osh or Plovwhich, the Uzbek version of "pilav", is the flagship dish of Uzbek cuisine. It is comprised mainly of boiled and fried meat, carrots, onions and rice; with barberries, raisins, chickpeas or fruit added for variety. Uzbek chefs pride themselves on their skill to cook the most sumptuous and unique plov. The oshpaz(master chef) generally cooks plov on an open flame, often serving 500-1000 people from a single cauldron on special occasions.
Uzbek Diary Products
Uzbek is known for its fermented dairy products. Katyak is the most popular of them and is basically yogurt prepared from sour milk. Suzma(strained clotted milk similar to cottage cheese) is another common dairy product in Uzbek.
Tea, like many other foods and beverages of the region , is found to be of various kinds. Green tea is considered a hospitality drink. Black tea is favored in Tashkent, although both types of tea are seldom consumed with milk and sugar. A large array of snacks in the Uzbek cuisine are infact dedicated solely to serve as accompaniment to tea. Some of these include bread, samsa, halva, and various types of fried Uzbek food.