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What and how to eat in Tibet

Tsampa, yak butter tea and Tibetan barley wine are the staple food for Tibetan people.

People also like dairy products and air-dried beef and mutton. Tibetans eat Tsampa in almost every meal. Tsampa is roasted barley flour mixed with yak butter tea or Tibetan barley wine. Tibetans usually mix the food with fingers of the right hand, and knead it into small lumps before eating.

Yak butter tea is made of boiled tea leaves, salt and yak butter. All are mixed together and vigorously churned in a wooden cylinder till well blended. Yak butter tea is warm and nutritious, and Tibetans drink it throughout the whole day. Tibetan barley wine is a very popular alcohol in among the Tibetans. This mild alcohol is brewed from locally-grown barley, and tastes sweet and sour.

  • Momos – dumplings filled with meat or vegetables, steamed or fried
  • Tingmo – bland, nearly tasteless steamed bread
  • Thukpa – a hearty noodle soup with veggies or meat
  • Thenthukthukpa with handmade noodles
  • Deep fried sausages: Main ingredient here is sheep lungs.
  • Ginseng pig”: Highland pig, very rare.  Baked whole with spices inside. They say it’s quite good…
  • Lhasa Raw Beef Paste; In Lhasa, there is a necessary dish for entertaining honored guests-raw beef paste. The raw beef taste is a mixture of mashed raw beef and several edible Tibetan herbs. After eating the paste, people will feel warm all over.
  • Beef and Mutton; Tibetans mainly live on beef, mutton and milk products. In pastoral areas, people don’t eat vegetables. In these areas, which includes most of Tibet, the diet is monotonous and rich in fat and protein. Beef and mutton are rich in calories, which helps people living on the Roof of the World to keep warm. Tibetans have a custom of eating raw meat. If you go to a herdsman’s or a farmer’s home, you will see the air-dried beef and mutton hung inside the house or tents. The host will invariably treat you to such meat, which can only be tasted on the Plateau of Tibet.
  • Chang, a thick, white barley beer is sweet and low in alcohol content.
    (some places it’s called wine) . I do not know atm, maybe both? I’ll tell you once i tasted it! ;)

Tsampa

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