Tibet, with its colorful history and culture, neighboring countries’ influence and contribution, and people’s creativity and resourcefulness, has evolved a unique food taste of its own—truly a taste of Tibet. Its taste may have similarities to that of Nepal, China and India, but there’s this certain bite that makes it distinctly Tibetan.
It’s a true Tibetan experience, while you are at it, to have a taste of Tibet—from its food to beverages. Like most other Asian countries, it has its own staple food and preferred after-meal drinks. Its recipes, ingredients and cooking styles are interestingly one of a kind.
Let’s take a look and try to savor the taste of Tibet through these major dishes and beverages. Their staple food, which Tibetans call as “rtsam-pa” is made from barley flour, yak butter and water. It is prepared and served in two ways—with the Tibetan buttered tea or with beef or mutton in a porridge. Other daily consumables are wheat flour, yak meat, mutton, pork and dairy products like butter, milk and cheese. Those in the higher areas, prefer and consume more pork than those in the lower areas; reason being that meat emits more heat energy needed by the people in the cold highlands, and those living in the grasslands have a more abundant vegetation. After meals, the most common drink is the jasmine tea, but they also have barley beer, Tibetan tea, non-caffeinated soft drinks, Chinese tea, and alcoholic drinks as well.
Their main types of dishes are: the fresh meat, boiled in pot and sprinkled with salt, ginger and spices, and beef and mutton, cut in long stripes, left to be air-dried in caves and stone walls, and barbecued. Their special dishes include sheep blood soup, yak meat, fried sheep lungs, ox tongue, stir-fried beef, and more. They are also known for its yogurt, which has been a part of the Tibetan food for more than a thousand years. The central and western regions have the thin and smooth yogurts, while the eastern regions have the thick ones. Tibetans also make use of milk—churning, processing, refining and boiling it to create the healthy and savory yogurt, butter, curd, etc.
Unlike other Asian countries, rice is not commonly partaken in Tibetan meals, it’s more reserved for special guests, well-to-do families, and monks.
It is truly noticeable how the taste of Tibet differs from the rest. It’s not just because of the kind of cattle and vegetation they have, but it’s more of the necessity of such kind, as they have a unique topographical area. If you visit the place, try the authentic taste of Tibet, and be open to a world of wondrous and unique blend of food and beverages.