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Foods of Tibet

Tibetan food has been major influence for the Indian, Nepali and Chinese cuisine of food for a long time. Major ingredients of the Tibetan food include the mountainous items with their unique and exotic flavors. One should always try out the Tibetan foods for the change of the taste.

Main food consumed in Tibet is barley, meat and dairy products. Each and every meal in your everyday appetite consists of dairy food along with meat in Tibet. Since Tibet lies in the high altitude vegetables are rare to find. And hence used in minimal amount while cooking. The staple food of Tibetan people is the Tsampa. Tsampa is actually flour made from dried out barley. All you have to do is put some flour with salted butter tea in a bowl, rotate the bowl and mix the food with your fingers and roll it into small chunks. Then the chunks/lumps are to squeeze into your mouth. Any other ingredients can be added to the Tsampa according to your taste and interest. Yak butter is another favorite food in Tibet dear to Tibetan people. This butter is separated from yak milk by hard churning. Yak cheese and butter has made a special place among the tourist visiting Tibet. The yak milk is considered very nutritious and of course it tastes awesome. If you are visiting Tibet, be sure you don’t miss dairy products of Tibet.

Since the high altitude of Tibet doesn’t allow vegetables to grow abundantly in this landscape Tibetan cuisine is full of on non-vegetarian foods. The dried beef and mutton stripe is the most popular food in Tibet. The beef and mutton are cut in to long strips and hung in the shaded places to be air dried in the winters and these meats are consumed all around the calendar. The crispy meat can be eaten raw or in any way you like it. The drying process in dry cold air avoids any chance of bacterial infection and is very safe to eat. Usually guests are served the breast and spareribs. And you are being honored if you are offered the tail of the white sheep. Blood sausage, meat sausage, flour sausage and liver sausage are among the main non-vegetarian diet of Tibetan people. Other special foods include Momo (Tibetan dumplings), Thenthuk (Tibetan noodles) and yak tongue. Tibetan foods are generally complemented of the Chinese (specially the Sichuan food) in the towns. One thing you will miss in Tibetan cuisine is fish. Tibetan people never eat fish for their religious reasons.

Talking about Tibetan beverages there is an especial item a tourist should never miss while visiting the Tibet-The salted butter tea. Salted butter is an irreplaceable partner for the Tsampa. Hot boiling black tea is poured in to a cylindrical churn along with salt and yak butter. After sometimes fresh milk and sugar is added. The churning helps the intergradient to mix up nicely giving the tea its special flavor. If you are looking for some local alcoholic beverages then you must try some Tibetan barley beer. Local people call it “chyang”. This “chyang” is a mild, sweet and sour drink with little alcohol. This is a recommended drink when you are in Tibet.

Right from the fresh yak milk and cheese to the dried, crispy, tasty meat and the Tsampas; Tibetan food offers you the most exotic fooding experience. Though Tibetan cuisine resembles with Indian and Chinese cuisine has its own essence and style. Some of the famous restaurants in Tibet offering you best Tibetan foods are: Sichuan cuisine restaurant, Xueshengong Tibetan Restaurant Jiri Fengniu Tibetan Restaurant and Xigaze Jinzuo Restaurant.