From time immemorial on the extensive area in front of Bibi-Khanum Mosque, next to the main city gate, there has been a bazaar. And today the Siab bazaar - the city’s biggest and the most ancient market– is full of hustle and bustle. It welcomes the customers with abundance of fruit and vegetables growing in the fertile Zarafshan valley. Pyramids of water-melons and melons, bags with walnuts, seedless raisins and dried apricots, bunches of grapes and alluring piles of figs attract the visitor with sweet tooth. Red apples and sweet-scented pears lay on counters next to leathery fruits of a pomegranate. The air is fragrant with a strong smell of spices - pepper and saffron, cardamom and nutmeg,zeera (cumin) and caraway seeds. A lot of counters are occupied with a special local delicacy - salty apricot stones baked in ashes. And, of course, a flat bread row offers seventeen kinds of brown Samarkand flat bread for choice. Families of hereditary flat bread bakers, natives of Galya-Osio settlement, live in Samarkand. It is believed, that only osiogi-non sort of flat bread baked in special ceramictandyr-furnaces, heated well with cotton stalks, will be especially tasty and mouth-watering. Such flat bread can serve an excellent souvenir to remind you of your visit to Samarkand, for as time goes by it loses neither its appetizing appearance, nor gustatory properties.Right here, in the market tea-house, it is possible to quench your thirst with fresh-made tea, to try national Uzbek dishes -pilav, lagman, and puff pies – somsa, or Samarkand shish-kebab made of a lamb's liver.
The Siab Bazaar