The food that Tibetans eat reflect their adaptation to the high altitude. The most important crop is barley in Tibet. Dough made from barley flour, called ‘Tsampa’ is the staple food of Tibetans.
Meat dishes are generally yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Yak yoghurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten, and well-prepared yoghurt is considered a prestige.
Drinks made of butter tea; barley wine (chang) are popular in Tibet.
Chang, which is mildly intoxicating, is thick and white with a sweet and pungent taste.
Tea was introduced to Tibet before the 10th century, but has now increased its range due to its increased popularity since the 13th century.
Roasted barley is a staple of the local people, dried barley fried, with a ground, tangy aroma. The way to eat it is quite simple, you’ll put some butter in the bowl, add roasted barley flour, and with some tea, stirring it with your hand or a spoon, Tsampa will be ready when the butter, tea and barley flour are mixed well.
Butter tea, usually the brick tea is boiled in water for several hours, and then the tea is poured into a hollow bamboo, where it is churned with a plunger, together with a handful of salt, a pinch of soda, and a good lump of butter. The result is a purplish liquid of unusual taste for a tea. The great thing is to blow aside the floating pieces of butter before you drink. The moment you put the cup down, even if you have only taken a sip, a servant, who stands ready with a silver or earthenware teapot, fills it up.
Barley as the only grown grain plays an important role in Tibetan daily life. Barley wine is an alcoholic drink that is made of Barley. Brewing barley wine does not require any complicated procedure, which is why most families are capable of brewing their own. Pick out the particles plump, shiny finest barley, put it into jars that are well sealed and it can be drinkable after one or two days if the temperature is high.
Yak meat is a major local food in the harsh cold and lack of oxygen highland areas.