For many, the cuisine of Tibet may appear simple in its staples. The spices, fruits, and nuts are what makes many of the dishes unique and healthy as many of the ingredients are not considered to be such. There are some common ingredients that can be found in many of the dishes.
Tibet Cuisine Throughout the Region
The foods of Tibet are not just restricted to this region. Throughout many parts of the region such as Kathmandu much of the food fare here can be traced back to Tibet.
Common Ingredients in Tibetan Foods
While there are many beautiful features of Tibet, one of the negative aspects is the regions inability to be able to produce a variety of fruits and vegetables. This is due to the high altitude and the environment itself. Even a simple staple like rice cannot be harvested here.
Nevertheless, Tibetans have managed to pull together a cuisine that is most impressive with what is available to them.
Meat and Dairy
With a Nomad ancestry, Tibetans rely on meat and dairy as their main source of ingredients.
What can be grown easily in Tibet is Barley and therefore many of the Tibetan dishes will have this ingredient either as its main one or to supplement the different dishes.
High Energy Dishes
With what the Tibetans have to work within the food line, it is ironic that many of the foods are considered to be high calorie, which in turn is high energy. The type of food that is needed for one to cope with the harsh environment that Tibetans are faced with.
Cheese is a favorite
With access to yak and goat, it gives the Tibetans the perfect opportunity for them to cultivate cheese. Which, in turn, can be used in many of the dishes. Variations of the cheese are often used in dishes that contain a lot of butter and noodles which is a common staple.
The National Dish
Almost every country has a dish that they are famous for and the same applies to Tibet. For here is Tsampa that is often accompanied by the traditional national beverage of butter tea. These two items top the list of the most consumed foods in Tibet.
With barley being the most common crop, the barley is roasted and milled into a flour, which is the main ingredient of Tsampa. Then added to this is the butter tea where the mixture can be made into small balls to be consumed along with some extra butter tea.
The Importance of Spices
With limited access to fruits and vegetables that are homegrown, Tibetan cuisine relies on a variety of spice such as:
- Black pepper
- Black cumin
Most find the Tibetan cuisine unique different but enjoyable.