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Top 10 Must Eat Foods While Visiting Tibet

· Tibet,Food Guide,Travel

Tibet, or Xizang 西藏 as it's called in Chinese, is an autonomous region sitting on the south western corner of China, just across the Himalayan Mountains from Nepal. Tibet is best known for its ethnic people and practices, beautiful landscapes of mountains and plateaus, and unique traditional cuisine tied to their culture and neighboring influences. Check out these 10 must eat foods while visiting Tibet.

You can find all of these foods and restaurants on the Spoonhunt App.

10. Tibetan Yogurt 西藏酸奶

Tibetan yogurt is a little different from other yogurt, because it is made from yak milk instead of cow milk. Yak milk has a higher butterfat content than cow milk, so the yogurt is much more creamy. The yak's milk is made in a traditional natural way. It is made from boiled milk, and then waited it is cooled and fermented, and then the process of the making yak yogurt is done. The flavor of the yak yogurt is much more strong so some people like to add some sugar in it. In Tibet, yogurt is very popular and it is available everywhere in the city, no matter it is in the small stall or in some luxurious hotels, you can find this desert.

9. Tibetan Barley Wine/Chhaang 青稞酒​

According to history record, in Tang Dynasty, about 7 century, Wencheng Prince married Srongtsen Gampo, and also brought the brewing technology of Han people to Tibet. 1300 years have passed by, and Tibetan Barley Wine representing wine culture in Tibet still enjoys reputation from home and abroad. As highland barley is different from other wines, Tibetan Barley Wine should be 40° to 50° when served.

8. Tibetan Milk Curd 奶渣​

Tibetan people eat all kinds of dairy products, including ghee (butter), cheese, yogurt, and milk curd. Milk curd is solidified sediments of boiled yak's milk, which tasts sour. Tibetans bring it when traveling to avoid environmental inadaptability. Milk curd can be eaten as snacks or used to make Tibet buns. Besides, fried milk curd tastes good too.

7. Thenthuk

Tibetan Thenthuk Noodles are hand pulled and usually served with simple vegetable and brewis. Those who live in cities of Tibet prefer to have Tibetan noodles and sweet tea as their breakfast, although in Amdo, Tibet, it's a dinner dish. Making the soup consists of mixing the flour, kneading the dough, chopping the vegetables and meat and boiling the soup. Some say Tibetan noodle soup is the most enjoyable for the meal as the soup tastes nice together with a bit shallot.

6. Tibetan Blood Sausage

In Tibetan cuisine, sausages or gyuma refer to blood sausages and are made with yak or sheep's blood which may or may not include either rice or roasted barley flour as filler. The traditional lifestyle of Tibetan nomads is completely entwined with their livestock and thus, when an animal is slaughtered, whether yak or sheep, none of the animal parts are wasted. Each part of the animal has a special use, and in this tradition, Gyuma-making has its own special place. The sausage uses natural casing employing the use of yak or sheep's intestine.

5. Lhasa Beer 拉萨啤酒

The first historical record of beer in Tibet are Chinese, concerning a 638 peace agreement between Tang China and the new Tibetan kingdom of Songtsen Gampo include the technological transfers of silk, paper, watermill and beer production. Factory production of beer in Tibet began in the late 1980s under the influence of the Chinese who legalized formal production and established the Lhasa Brewery in 1988 on the northern outskirts of Lhasa. Lhasa Beer is the only Tibetan beer on the world market and has grown in production in recent years through the Lhasa Brewery Company's increasing connections and investment internationally by Carlsberg. 

4. Tsampa 糌粑​

Tsampa is the staple food in Tibet. Tibetan people eat tsampa at every meal and bring it as a ready-made food when traveling. Tsampa is a dough made with roasted barley flour and ghee (yak butter). There are 2 basic methods to make and eat tsampa. One is to make dough with butter tea. The other is to make porridge with beef or mutton, and vegetables. The former one is salty while the latter is added with sugar to give it a sweet taste.

3. Butter Tea 酥油茶

Butter tea, known as Po cha in Tibet, is made from churning tea, salt and yak butter. The tea used is a particularly potent, smoky type of brick tea from Pemagul, Tibet. A portion of this brick tea is crumbled into water and boiled for hours to produce a smoky, bitter brew called chaku. This is then stored until used to make butter tea. To make a serving of Po cha, some of the chaku is poured in a wooden cylindrical churn called a chandong, along with a hunk of yak butter and salt and churned for a couple of minutes before serving.

2. Yak Meat 牦牛肉

The most popular meat eaten by Tibetan is yak meat. Contrary to popular belief, most Tibetans in Tibet are not vegetarian. Yak meat is very important to most Tibetans diet. Yak meat is usually eaten boiled or dried, but in some areas of Tibet it is sometimes eaten raw in the winter. The dried meat can be difficult to chew but tastes good. Additionally, the dried meat can be stored and are useful when traveling long distance.

1. Momo 馍馍

The dish is believed to be of Tibetan origin and since then has spread to other neighboring countries with the influx of Tibetan diaspora. Every Tibetan family has a slightly different momo recipe, with various theories on how to make them the most juicy and delicious, or how to keep the dough skins to the desired delicate thinness. The variations are endless: meat, vegetarian, steamed (the most popular), fried, and cooked in soup.

To find the best restaurants all around China with English menus, download the new SPOONHUNT App from the iTunes and Google Play App Stores now! Go to for more details.

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