A Chinese saying goes "weather different in ten miles, ascents different in 100 miles”, which means climate changes can be happening in is a small area, and people living far from 100 miles, the tone and voice of ascent will be different. China is a vast land, not only the forming rich varieties of local culture, and people's dietary habits also with big differences.
As a nationality living long-term on the high plateau, Tibetan people have their own unique food structure and eating habits. Butter, tea, tsampa and beef and mutton are known as the Tibetan diet’s "four treasures", as well as barley wine and a variety of dairy products.
Tibetan Yak Butter
The yak butter can be seen anywhere and anytime in Tibet. It is an indispensable food for every Tibetan at all times.
The yak butter is extracted from yak and goat's milk. Tibetan yak butter's extraction method is very simple and interesting. The milk is slightly warmed and then poured into large barrels, whipping for hundreds of times, until the water and butter separated. Later scoop up the floating yellowish fatty on the top layer and put into leather pockets, cool until they became butter.
Tibetan yar butter has a high nutritional value. The Tibetan people, especially in pastoral areas, seldom eat vegetables and fruits. Besides meat, they rely on shortening for their daily calories. There are many kinds ways of eating the butter, but the main thing is for the production of butter, such as buttered tea.
Buttered tea is the daily ingredient of Tibetan people. The Tibetan people must drink several cups of buttered tea in the morning before they go to work. When visiting Tibetan people's homes, they are usually welcomed with yak butter tea.
Tea is very welcome by Tibetan people, and they are the nationality which loves drinking tea very much. In Tibet, tea is processed into many different varieties, and the most common ones are buttered tea, sweet tea, and green tea. A bowl of buttered tea, will add strength to the whole body, you will instantly become energetic. From the low altitude areas to the plateau, the wind here blow wild and cold. You may fell uncomfortable on the plateau, a buttered tea will help you to get used to the condition on the plateau.
Tibetans have a set of rules for drinking butter tea. They normally do not drink a mouthful to finish. Instead, they alwasys add to full the teacup while drinking. If you don't feel like drinking, don't touch it. If drank half, and are not able to drink any more, you should put it on the table and wait for the host to add until the cup is full. When you leave, just take the cup and drink the tea. In this way, you will be considered to be accord with the custom of Tibetan people and courtesy.
Tibetan tsampa is an important food with very simple production. Ground the dried and fried barley into fine flour, which has become tsampa. Tsamgpa is very simple. When eating, add a little butter tea, when the butter mix well with tsampa and shape into small groups and eat.
tsampa is more nutritious than winter wheat and easy to carry. When you go out, you only need to carry a wooden bowl and a belt around your waist to put tsampa and do not need to cook with fire.
Tibetans like to eat dried beef and mutton. Other ethnic groups are a little scared of it and don't think it is very hygienic.
In fact, dried meat is a very unique kind of Tibetan food. To the end of the year, when the temperature is below zero, cut the beef and mutton cinto small pieces, hanging in the shade, let it dry naturally, coming the next years, in February and March when eating, the meat will be succulent crisp with unique tastes.
Highland barley wine is made of barley with a very low degree. The Tibetan people all like to drink the wine. It is essential festive holiday drink.
Highland barley wine’s production process is very unique. First wash the cooked barley, until the temperature slightly lower, then add wine yeast, put into a terrine, and close it, allowed to ferment. Two and three days later, add water to the terrine and cover again. Two days after the barley wine is well. Barley wine color orange, sweet and sour taste, alcohol content is very low, similar to beer.
Except for the four treasures, there are also famous snacks such as boiled mutton and roasted sheep intestines.
Tourists to Tibet can selectively taste some distinctive Tibetan food, such as various types of sausage, barley wine and butter, and sheep grasping the meat, salad yak tongue, steamed buns, Zan rake, a variety of pastries, as well as sweet tea, milk, yogurt, Sausage, dried meat, Xia Puqing (meat paste) and so on.