Pictured left: A Tajik meal: the centerpiece is plov, garnished with strips of mutton fat.
Tajik cuisine, the traditional cuisine of Tajikistan, has much in common with Russian Iranian, Afghan and Uzbek cuisines. Plov (Tajik: палав, palav, Uzbek: palov), also called osh (Tajik: ош), is the national dish in Tajikistan, as in other countries in the region. Green tea is the national drink. Traditional Tajik meals start with a spread of dried fruit, nuts, halwa, and other sweets arrayed on the table in small dishes, and then progress to soup and meat, before finishing with plov.
Meals are usually served with non (Tajik: нон), flatbread found throughout Central Asia. Legend holds that one is not supposed to put non upside down because this will bring bad luck. Traditional Tajik soups include mainly meat and vegetable soups (such as shurbo and piti) and meat soups with noodles (such as laghmon and ugro). In the summer, Tajikistan is abundant in produce and fruit: its grapes and melons were famous throughout the former Soviet Union. The bazaars also sell pomegranates, apricots, plums, peaches, apples, pears, figs and persimmons. Tea generally accompanies every meal and is frequently offered between meals as a gesture of hospitality to guests and visitors.