Sea Girt, New Jersey
April 4, 2003
The meat section can be a little scary (OK, very scary--we have Kazakh friends who won’t even go in there). Skinned animals hang from hooks and they apparently scoff at the idea of refrigerating meats. In addition to the standard butcher fare, you can get the Kazakh specialty horse meat, although I don’t recommend actually purchasing anything from Zelyony’s meat department.
If you actually are going to buy any food items here (besides fruits and veggies that you can peel), keep a lookout for inexpensive caviar (only buy caviar in tins). Even if you have no intention of buying anything, the bazaar is alive with sights, sounds, and smells, and is well worth checking out. The tradition of central Asian bazaars lives on at Zelyony Bazaar.
On the side streets around the Bazaar, local vendors, housewives, veterans, and anyone else with something to sell run a makeshift flea market. Everything from old pots and pans to knitted caps to Soviet pins and military items are on display. We bought several handfuls of Soviet lapel pins for about $2US.
A word of caution (besides avoiding the meat stalls): watch your wallet in and around the bazaar, the crowds can get thick and you never know who you will bump into (literally).
From journal Beautiful Kazakhstan