Here in Tashkent I've found just about what I was expecting to find, considering that we just moved one country over. I have been surprised by a few things, however. In Dushanbe we could only find brown lentils, never red. Here in Tashkent we can only find red lentils, never red, which is too bad because I shipped fifty pounds of red lentils before I realized this. I've also found - after shipping a hundred pounds of the stuff - that oatmeal is both available and cheap here. And weirdly enough, they have cornmeal. I've never found cornmeal in any of the countries we've lived in before. But, of course and as always, no black beans.
I also haven't been able to find any kind of liquid cream, only thickened cream. This works fine for soups and cooking, but it makes it really hard if you want to whip the stuff. I still can't figure out why they don't have it here. I can also tell we've moved back to more Turkic culture because there's lots of plain yogurt, which you couldn't find at all in Dushanbe. Thankfully they have mozzarella cheese, even if it is kind of expensive. But, no salted butter. I miss salted butter. Sigh.
Fruits and vegetables have the same availability that you can find most places - tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, onions, melons, seasonally available fruit, potatoes, garlic. But here they sell peeled fresh garlic, which is one of my favorite grocery finds so far. I hate peeling garlic and I use a lot of garlic - sometimes two heads in a recipe - so it was a revelation to discover that they sell it peeled here.
Unlike Dushanbe, which had no truly Western-style supermarkets (it had one that was sort of one) when we moved there, Tashkent has tons of supermarkets. There are several chains, one of the most common ones being an Uzbek chain, Korzinka, that has stores everywhere around the city. We live half a kilometer from a smaller one, which has been really nice. The children can walk or ride their bikes to it and when I need something for dinner, they can go and pick it up for me. The produce selection is good, it has fresh meat, and it even has a bakery, so there really is no need to go anywhere else unless you need something usual, like pork.
Tashkent also has lots and lots of bazaars. The city is divided into eleven neighborhoods, and each neighborhood has their own good-sized bazaar. The produce at the bazaar is cheaper than at the grocery store and there is a little more selection, but I don't ever shop at the bazaars because I'm too lazy to drive further than half a kilometer and I don't want the hassle of trying to park. Usually I send my housekeeper, Shoira, to the bazaar if I need anything specific, but otherwise she does the local shopping at the grocery store.
There are several bazaars which have places to buy pork, which isn't sold at the grocery stores because Uzbekistan is a Muslim country. The bazaars also have household goods in addition to any kind of food that can be sold by the kilo.
I've found grocery shopping in Tashkent to be a pretty straightforward, easy experience. This is, of course, in the context of shopping with expectations set for being in Central Asia. I've long since given up looking for some things (specific beef cuts, specialty cheeses, avocados) and so I'm not disappointed when I don't find them. But, I'm happy to have grocery stores and I'm happy that those grocery stores have parking lots. It's always good to have reasonable expectations!