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Tibetan yoghurt farm stays true to tradition

Publish Time: 2018-08-28 Author: From: Global Times

Yak farmer Tsering Thondup shows off a bowl of his homemade yogurt at his farm near Lhasa on August 12. Photo:Li Hao/GT

Tsering Thondup's younger pours milk into a pot for boiling. Photo:Li Hao/GT

Tsering Thondup's eldest son milks a yak. Photo:Li Hao/GT

Just like the important role alcohol plays at social events in Western countries, yogurt enjoys an equivalent status in Tibet. "It has become part of local life. When they spend time together, yogurt is an indispensable snack," Wang Yongjiang, the owner of the Old Tree Yogurt Shop near the entrance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, said as he offered me a bowl of fresh yogurt with sweet Osmanthus syrup. 

"This is our specialty," Wang said.  

Taking a sip, the mixture of  sour yogurt and sweet syrup made for an unforgettable taste.  

"How do you made such a tasty yogurt?" I asked. 

To answer my question, Wang took me to a local farm so I could see things for myself.  

Right from the yak 

After nearly an hour drive from downtown Lhasa, we stopped at a small village named Chagu.   

"Welcome to my house!" Tsering Thondup greeted me as he walked out of his home. A traditional Tibetan farmer, Tsering Thondup owns a flock of yaks from which he gets the milk he and his family uses to make Tibetan yoghurt.    

My companions and I entered his backyard, where fresh yak milk and homemade yogurt had been set out to welcome us.   

"This is the first time I've had fresh yak milk," Denis Xiong, another visitor to the farm who couldn't stop recording himself drinking milk, said.  

"Look! It is as white as jade!" he exclaimed. 

Different from cow milk, yak milk has much higher fat content. Just a minute after the milk was poured into a bowl, I could see a layer of yellowish skin appearing on the surface of the milk.   

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