TIBETAN FOOD & DRINK

   
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WILD TIBETAN CUISINE
High Altitude Taste Treats

 

   
   
CULTURAL HERITAGE FOODS  
Tibetans have adapted to their high altitude lifestyle and the limits of its terrain and weather. Many Tibetans are vegetarians because their religion embraces all sentient beings as possible past relatives and therefore they tend to restrain from the killing of animals for survivals. On the other hand, many Tibetans eat yak meat, although they usually do not participate in the slaughter, rather paying a local butcher to do such work. With a very cold winter climate, meat offers the strength, warmth and stamina needed for nomads to survive. Barley has always been the most important crop for the Tibetan diet. Ground and roasted, barley makes Tsampa, their number one staple food source. Tsampa is a mix of roasted barley and yak butter or tea, a sweet dough eaten as a snack or a meal with yak butter tea, preferably. Tibet Cuisine, Cuisine of TibetTsampa can also be rolled into noodles or used to make steamed dumplings, known as Momos.

Raising yaks, in many instances, provides Tibetans with their livelihood. Yak meat, yak yoghurt, butter, yak butter tea (salted), sweet-butter tea, cheese, yak hair tents, yak rope, and other uses from the carcass are indispensable to the existence of nomads. Commonly, yak butter tea made with butter, water and salt is taken up to 50 times a day on the range. Highly tasty is the Tibetan sweet tea found in all tea shops in Tibetan areas. A whole pot costs about a quarter, at least in 2008 it did. Once you've tasted the homemade Tibetan yak yoghurt from the farm, you'll never want store-bought yoghurt again! But, be careful eating off the street. There are few health regulations and even Tibetans get stomach problems from yoghurt that's been sitting under the sun too long!

Meat dishes are usually made from yak (high altitude cow with long hair), goat or mutton. Try the delicious mutton dish cooked on stone in Lhasa at the Makeyama Restaurant on the Barkhor (highly recommended dish!) Tibetans started raising sheep as the Chinese demand increased, even though sheep tend to destroy the grasslands by pulling the grass out when eating. Yaks, on the other hand, lick the blade off the the grass and leave it to re-grow next season. Tibetans often dry their meat and carry it along on their journeys. You will notice Tibetan women and men carrying a knife from their belt buckle. This is to cut meat when needed. A spicy yak stew with potatoes is fairly common. Since Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet, it is also an important ingredient of Tibetan cooking.

   

TIBETAN TASTE BUDS

COMMON DRINKS
Tibetan food for the most part is mildly spiced with salt, mustard seed, butter, shallots or garlic. Commonly served among nomads and poorer Tibetans are flavorless flour buns, fried greens (more like grass) in garlic, and soups (usually made with delicious home-made noodles and a few yak snips). Unlike Western cuisine, Tibetan taste buds don't require any sort of richness, spice or gourmet taste. Food is seen as something of a necessity, not necessarily to be savored, but simply to fill the stomach and strengthen the body for more work. Try it all while visiting wild Tibet! Salted Butter Tea
Sweet Butter Tea
Hot Water
Green Tea
Barley wine is often reserved for festivals and celebrations

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
       

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Tibetan Wild Yak Adventures
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