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Tibetan Foodways
The staple food among nomads on the Tibetan Plateau, and a key indicator of Tibetan culture, is tsampa, which is made from highland barley, butter, and water. For nomads, highland barley is often acquired from farmers through barter or exchange, most often in a roasted flour form that is ready to use. To prepare tsampa, mix the ingredients in a bowl until it has the consistency of cookie dough and is then ready to eat. In addition to tsampa, Tibetan nomads also consume delicacies that are prepared during festivities, on sacred calendar dates, and to welcome important guests. On such occasions, families might prepare momos (or dumplings), rice topped with butter, sugar and wild yams, dried bread, rice-noodle stew, and copious amounts of meat. One of the most common methods for cooking the latter is to simply boil a potful of meat in lightly salted water with seasonings made from pepper, garlic, onions, and turnips. Learn more about Tibetan food traditions: Editing: Jackson Harvey Research: Khamo Kyi [Catalog No. CFV11278; © 2019 Smithsonian Institution]
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2 min 43 sec
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