Cuisine of Tibet

Publish Time: 2015-12-21 Author: From:

What's so Special about Tibetan cuisine?

Tibetan food shows a major influence of Indian and methods of cooking in inland cities in China but the ingredients that are used are mainly of the mountain areas. The food that one gets here is deliciously different and known for its exotic flavour. Well, that is good enough reason for you to try out Tibetan food, which for sure, is going to be a new experience for your taste buds.

What's cooking in Tibet?

The main food that is consumed in Tibet contains mainly of barley, meat and dairy products. In fact dairy products are something that you will find with every meal of the day. Since Tibet is a high mountainous region, the vegetables are not found in good quantity that can easily be seen by the minimal use of veggies in cooking. Tsampa is the staple food of Tibetan people. It is actually barley flour made from parched barley, un-husked and ground into fine flour. Put some flour with salted butter tea in a bowl, rotate the bowl and mix the food with your fingers, roll it into small lumps, then squeeze it into your mouth. You can also add other ingredients to add flavor. Yak butter is another favorite food for Tibetan people, which is separated from yak milk by hard churning. The milk produced by yak is considered to be absolutely tasty and full of nutrition so don't miss the taste.

Is non-vegetarian food part of Tibetan cuisine?

Non vegetarian food occupies the major part of Tibetan cuisine. Dried beef and mutton stripe are the most liked food in Tibet. In the winter, beef and mutton are cut into long stripes and hung in shaded place to be air-dried. The dried meat is crisp and tastes good and can be eaten raw as the chill in the winter air kills all the bacteria during the process. Big joints of beef and mutton boiled with salt, ginger and spices are also popular food among Tibetans. They take the meat in hands and cut them with their knives. The guests are catered with breasts and spareribs. Don't be surprised if you are served a tail of white sheep, it means that you are deemed as their guest of honor.

Looking for famous beverages of Tibet?

The salted butter tea is an irreplaceable Tsampa partner. Boiled tea is poured into a long cylindrical churn along with salt and yak butter. Churning makes the ingredients nicely mixed up and ready to be served. Hot boiling black tea filtered is decanted into a churn, and then fresh milk and sugar are added. There are many teashops in Lhasa serving the sweet milk tea which is an absolute hit among Tibetan People. Try out the Tibetan barley beer, called Chang in Tibetan, the beer is mild, slightly sweet and sour and contains little alcohol. The beverage is definitely worth the money you spend on it.

Photo shows the Tsampa produced in a traditional water mill plant set up by Tsering, a villager of Bainang County in Shigatse Prefecture of Tibet. [Photo/Xinhua]  

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