White Food and Red Food

Do you think about food in terms of colour? In the west we talk often about eating greens, but there's no other food type that is classified so broadly according to colour. In Tibet, food is generally acknowledged to be either white or red, and traditionally people ate white food in the summer and red food in the winter. These days refrigeration gives people more options, but before electricity arrived on the plateau this way of eating was a case of consuming what was available. Loosely speaking, white food refers to milk and other dairy products, which tend to be easily come by during the summer months, and red food refers to meat. Yak and sheep meat, air-dried in early winter, can be store

Food Of The Himalayas

The Himalayan region is shared between China (including Tibet), Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal and India. The mountains were there long before people inhabited these parts, and before borders and nations came into existence. A thousand years ago the borders were different to what they are today, and a thousand years from now they will no doubt have changed again. Tibetan people say that the momo (and it's a Tibetan word), originated in Tibet (and Wikipedia appears to confirm this), but Nepali and Bhutanese people also lay strong claims to this much-loved dumpling of the region. There are also disputes over the origins of many of the condiments (especially chilli dips) that are a distinctive feature

Food: The Language Of Love

I've written before about food as the language of love, but really, food is the language of love. In Tibet, this certainly seems to be the case. I know it because I myself cannot communicate much with my Tibetan in-laws, but there's a whole lot of love there. It is expressed through the food that we cook and eat together. Enjoyment of a meal is everything - what more needs to be said? In fact, speaking during a meal is considered rude in Tibet. When food has taken time to prepare (and given that everything is always cooked from scratch this is usually the case), it shows respect to the chef to savour it silently, taking time, enjoying each mouthful. My Tibetan is pretty poor, and visiting Ye

Picnicking Season

@tibetanencounter posted this lovely image (L) of a traditional Tibetan summer picnicking tent on their Instagram today. Here in the UK we're not quite there yet, but spring is firmly on course in Tibet, and summer just a few cups of butter tea away. We designed our own festival tent (R) to mirror the experience of picnicking on the plateau. We love it when people stop by for a cuppa and share their tales of travelling in Tibet: the people they met, the food they ate, the things they saw. Do you have stories to share? What was your favourite/worst thing to eat? What did you love? What made you laugh/cry? What would you like to know more about through our blog? Stop by our stall sometime and

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