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Everest Himalayan Cuisine


Everest Himalayan Cuisine

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Are you planning a trip to Nepal? Would you like to trek to the Everest base camp and try out amazing Himalayan cuisines? Do you know what food items are commonly prepared in the Everest region? Keep reading this article to learn everything about the Everest Himalayan cuisine. Here we have explained in detail about best Himalayan cuisines, best beverages and deserts, foods to avoid, cost of these foods and much more.

Mount Everest is one of the most loved and trekked destinations in the world. The Everest trek is indeed a once in a lifetime bucket list for all the adventure seekers across the globe. Many people set out on this challenging trek to enjoy the natural beauty and scenic snow-cladded mountains. However, the journey to Everest is not just about the awe-inspiring highest peaks, swift flowing rivers of Nepal, and bewildering glaciers but also amazing Himalayan cuisine.

Food is an integral part of human life not just for taste but to add energy to our body. While trekking to such high altitudes, food plays a vital role in your journey. You can get anything from authentic Nepali food to western dishes.  The dishes in the Mt. Everest region are distinctive and comes from the Himalayan region, especially from the Sherpa community of Nepal. The food is renowned for being simple but flavorful and made using locally grown vegetables.

Mostly the Sherpa and Tibetan traditions have a significant impact on Everest Himalayan cooking that reflects the way of living of people in the Himalayan region. Additionally, the high altitude and temperature have an extreme impact on the way foods are prepared. The foods are especially rich in protein and carbohydrates that help in providing warmth to the body and aid in gaining enough energy to sustain life up there.

Everest Himalayan cuisines use unusual herbs and species to improve the flavor of the dishes including cumin, coriander, turmeric, and fenugreek. Due to their local taste and variety of food items, the cuisines made in the Everest region are gaining popularity among visitors and climbers. These dishes have been of great fame globally making restaurants and cafes experiment with unique flavors.

Thinking of giving Everest trekking a try but unsure which operator to choose? Make sure you read our article Best trekking companies in Nepal  and choose the best company that can provide you the trekking trip suitable to your need and desire.

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10 Best Himalayan Cuisines to Not Miss During your Trek to Everest

The Himalayas are not only a trekker’s paradise but a foodie’s dream destination too. The area will not only tempt your taste buds but provide you with requisite nutrients during your Everest trek. Prepare yourself for a comestible journey in one of the most stunning locales and don’t let your tummy miss these below-listed items:

Authentic Nepali Rice and Pulses

Whenever you go to Nepal, you will find people who love to eat Rice and pulses (also known as Bhaat Daal) for their lunch every day. One great food option to enjoy during your Everest trekking is Rice served along with pulses, fresh vegetables, salads, pickles, and meat (optional). The pulses (dal) are often fried with cumin and are prepared with a mix of Nepali spices that includes garlic, ginger, coriander, and many more. It is a must-have dish while you are trekking to help you generate enough energy while feeling great at eating.

Sherpa Momo

Momo is another best option you shouldn’t miss not only during your trekking but whenever you are on a vacation in Nepal. It is one of the most loved frailties of Nepalese people. These are simply dumplings with fillings of meat, paneer, or vegetables according to your wish. It is served with tasty soup and tomato chutney and is the perfect snack for filling your taste buds while on an expedition to Everest.

Riki Kur (Potato Pancake)

In the Sherpa community, Riki refers to Potato while Kur refers to Pancake making the whole term translated as potato pancakes. The tortillas are prepared by forming a batter of potatoes mixed up with some flour. It is often served with pickles, yak cheese, or butter.

Shyaphale:

Another delicious Nepal Himalayan dish you shouldn’t miss eating on your trek to the Everest region is shyaphale. It is one of those Tibetan meals that is very much liked by the Sherpas. These are semicircular with the filling of minced meat. These are prepared just like momos but are deep fried later to be served with tomato or any other pickle to enhance the taste.

Shyakpa(Sherpa Stew):

It is an entirely homemade dish and is predominantly inhabited by the Sherpa community. Shyakpa is a soup prepared using a variety of ingredients like meat, potatoes, and mixed veggies. These ingredients are simmered with a mixture of herbs and seasonings.

Tingmo:

These are steamed bread prepared using flour, water, yeast, and a small quantity of sugar. These small fluffy balls of flour are then steamed and served with soups, and stews as a side dish. However, these are usually preferred by trekkers to be eaten as breakfast and are widely popular in different parts of the Himalayan region.

Looking for an easier way to enjoy the captivating Himalayan beauty? A helicopter tour to EBC can help you.

Tsampa:

Another tasty dish in the list of Everest Himalayan cuisine is Tsampa. It is one of the traditional dishes of the Himalayan region and is prepared in a variety of ways. Tsampa is prepared using barley flour and is highly rich in nutrition. It can be eaten in its original form, or alternate porridge or dough can be prepared by adding butter tea, yak cheese, etc.

Rildok

Another Sherpa stew found at higher altitudes prepared by using mashed potato pieces is Rildok. Depending upon the taste of people, this dish can either be viewed as highly delicious or a lumpy potato soup. The boiled potatoes are mashed and mixed up with some salt and butter. It is then converted into small pieces and cooked using boiling soup.

Thukpa

Another famous dish in the list of cuisine found in the Himalayan region is Thukpa. It is identical to Shyakpa however the long and thin noodles used for thukpa make all the difference here. The noodles used for Shyakpa are hand-prepared thick and flat noodles. The noodles for thukpa are boiled and cooked along with meat, vegetables, and seasonings. It is served hot and is loved among the chilly weather of the Himalayas.

Kur

Final on our list of Everest Himalayan cuisine is kur, which is simply Tibetan bread common among the Sherpa community. It is round and is prepared using flour dough and baking powder in a frying pan. Served as a breakfast with jam, butter, dipping sauce, or curry, kur is inexpensive but fills your tummy really well.

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Everest Himalayan Cuisine-Beverages and Desserts in Everest Trek

Everest Himalayan Cuisine

Image Credit :https://www.nepaltraveladventure.com/blog/trekking-foods-everest-base-camp-trekking/

Nepal trekking tours involve Everest trekking as its top-listed trekking option. Although the challenges of trekking are harsh, most people love to quench their thirst for being on the laps of the Himalayas. However, on your trekking to the Everest region, you might not only be limited to great scenic beauty but the authentic Nepali food with a taste of Himalayan culture will surely steal your heart. Here are some of the beverages and desserts you should try:

Su-Chya(Butter tea)

Among the variety of teas you have tried, Su-chya is something special and a not to miss form of tea to experience the true flavor of Himalayan tea.

Chang

Another traditional Sherpa beverage is Chang which is prepared from fermented grains(barley or millet). Although alcohol consumption is not recommended during your trekking to Everest however, a little amount of Chang makes no difference in your body. It is sweet and is widely drunk in the Sherpa community even offered to gods.

Hot chocolates

Staying hydrated is very essential during trekking. Thus, drinking hot chocolates is one best way to gain quick energy and warm up your body in a perfect manner.

Herbal teas and fresh juices:

Rather than consuming caffeine, it is better to drink herbal tea or fresh juices Ginger lemon honey, ginger tea, masala tea, mint tea, etc are some other beverages you can have during your trekking journey. Additionally, some desserts like apple pies, brownies, Sherpa stewed foods, banana bread, etc. can be your right choices.

Foods to Avoid During Everest Trek

Everest trekking is an adventurous activity that requires a fixed amount of physical and mental fitness to conquer successfully. Your body needs enough nourishment to function well at higher altitudes.

As we ascend and descend frequently in rugged terrains, a huge amount of energy is lost even though lower works. Thus, foods that drain the enthusiasm of the body and make you function improperly should be avoided.

You sure do not want to complain about your stomach aches and body distress while enjoying the stunning peaks of the world’s tallest mountain and surrounding vistas. This is why, it is crucial to maintain a balanced diet to ensure peak physical performance and avoid altitude sickness at all costs.

The effects of high altitude and extreme temperatures of Everest on the body are already very terrifying. In such conditions, having foods that might make altitude sickness, dehydration, and gastrointestinal discomfort worse is not a great idea.

It is important to exercise caution while choosing the food you eat in the Everest regions where frequent help is not obtained. It might lead to severe conditions leading to death. Thus here is a list of a few items that you should avoid as much as you can:

Meat:

Meat is one of those items that we can add to the not to eat list especially red meat. Not only it takes longer to digest but also enhances the chances of gastrointestinal discomfort and dehydration. Additionally, Sherpa culture forbids the killing of mount Everest animals in the Khumbu region, which mostly indicates that the meat is carried either from Kathmandu or very lower regions.  Thus it is not very fresh and lack of refrigeration might escalate the chances of food poisoning.

Alcohol:

Another thing that should be forbidden in your Everest expedition is alcohol. The consumption of alcohol makes the body highly dehydrated and raises the menace of altitude sickness. Additionally, slowing judgment due to alcohol consumption can rise the risk of accidents while trekking.

High Caffeine Intake:

High altitudes of Everest enhance the body’s need to consume more oxygen but heavy intake of caffeine under such circumstances speeds up heart and respiratory rates. This aid in the exhaustion of oxygen quickly causing breathing shortness, headaches, and insomnia.

Processed foods and snacks:

Processed snacks like chips which are labeled as high-altitude foods should be avoided. These are high in sodium and preservatives and cause the body to dehydrate at a faster rate. You can alternatively carry dry fruits and nuts that are highly nutritious and lightweight.

Dairy products:

It depends on varied body capacities whether they can digest dairy products at higher altitudes or not. Although these items are a high source of calcium and a great energy provider, they might not be a great choice during Everest trekking. At altitudes like the one in Everest trekking, the chances of lactose intolerance levels enhance. Therefore, products like milk, cheese, and yogurt may increase bloating making it tough to trek.

Cost of Everest Himalayan Cuisines

The food items in Lukla will cost you 2-3 times higher compared to the prices in restaurants of Kathmandu. Identically, as the altitude escalates the prices of food enhance too. It is because of the addition of transportation costs at higher altitudes along with a cost that is used to keep it fresh. Additionally, the price of dishes in the Mt. Everest depends upon a variety of factors like the quality of restaurants, seasons of trekking, location, along with the availability of ingredients.

It takes you around $5-$10 to fulfill your basic breakfast needs. Your one cup of tea or coffee will cost you around $1.5 to $3. Similarly, you need to spend around $10-$15 to buy yourself a good lunch or dinner. The variety of desserts might cost you from $7-$10 or sometimes higher. Thus, you can estimate an average of $30-$50 per day on food depending on what and how you eat.

FAQs of Everest Himalayan Cuisine

What food do Everest climbers eat?

Climbers should snack on small amounts of calories all day. They need large amounts of energy for their body to function well at higher altitudes where the temperature is almost unpredictable. The frightening cold and low oxygen content should be coped out by drinking enough water and not letting the body dehydrate. Additionally, nuts, energy bars, fresh fruits, vegetables, etc are eaten by most climbers. It simply indicates the consumption of a nutrient-dense and high-calorie diet to endure the harsh conditions of the trek and be physically perfect.

How much food do you need to climb Everest?

Trekking toward Everest requires you to have high energy than usual. Thus the calorie intake of trekkers is high compared to normal days. Climbers or trekkers are supposed to have 2000-4000 calories per day to build up their bodies with enough strength required for long amounts of climbing.

What do Sherpas eat on Everest?

Sherpas have a wide variety of dishes they eat. They love potatoes that grow at an altitude of 14000 feet. The main food eaten by Sherpas is Shyakpa also known as Sherpa stew. It is a meat and potato-based stew mixed up with some vegetables. Another common food item is rice with lintels also called daal bhaat.

Why do most Sherpas not eat meat?

The religious belief of Sherpa is Tibetan Buddhism. It teaches you to respect every living being. As a result of which most Sherpas have adapted to a life that includes vegetarian food avoiding meat. They believe, eating meat is hurting animals that bring bad karma. However, not all Sherpas do so.

Is the food at high altitudes served fresh?

Upto Namche you are sure to get fresh food. It is due to the temporal conditions that allow the locals to grow their food. However, at higher altitudes, the climatic conditions are not suitable enough to grow fresh vegetables and other required necessities. As a result, people carry food from lower regions and store it to survive. The quality of food at higher altitudes thus might not always be of a great standard but it is not always stale.

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