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Famous Local Food11/3/2011

To be called Naran in the Zang language, Highland Barley Liquor with low Alcohol Degree is very much loved by Tibetans, and is regarded the best beverage for entertaining guests. Tibetans have had a long history of making Liquor, whose principal raw material is highland barley, the principal product in the plateau.

Its making process is fairly unique. First of all, the highland barley should be washed and then boiled. When the temperature getting lower, distiller’s yeast is added in and sealed up in pottery jars or wooden barrels. Two or three days later, clean water is added in. Another two days later, the Highland Barley Liquor is done. It appears to be orange with a sweet and sour flavor. Tibetans pay particular attention to the drinking procedures called “three drags and one cup”. Firstly one should take a drag of the Liquor, and after the cup is immediately filled up, one is expected to take another drag, and then the cup is filled up again and one takes again. Lastly one should bottom up all the Liquor.

The highland barley liquor is requisite in all the banquets and festivals. In the common feasts, both hosts and hostess will sing songs to propose toasts. When coming to the parties, there are special toasting girls in the most gorgeous and splendid attires. Singing the most fascinating songs, they urge guests to drink in turn and will not stop until the guests are drank. Zhongdian County is one of the main highland barley liquor producing area in the Yunnan Province.

Butter with Tea is indispensable to Tibetans’ daily life. The making process of it is fairly simple. Firstly, pour the local tea into a tea cylinder. Later add butter, salt and refined spice and mix all the materials repeatedly until they are in complete harmony. Due to its pleasant aromas and tasty delicacy, it provides a joy for ever.

Butter with tea plays a very important role in the diet structure of the Zang nationality. The Zang people drink it at least three times a day while some even more than ten times! It can produce a lot of heat so that Tibetans can withstand the cold weather and also can relieve thirst and promote fluid.

Accompanying with the butter, cream dairy dreg is refined from milk. The milk is forged and separated from butter, and the rest is boiled up. After cooling down, the milk turns to be sour and is poured in a funnel-shaped container which is made of bamboo for filtering. That what at last leaves in the container is the cream dairy dreg.

The dreg is white and sour, having a strong function of helping in the digestion of food. When going out, Tibetans always bring the dreg along to prevent maladjustments in foreign lands.

Glutinous rice cake is the staple food of the Zang people who have it in three meals a day. Actually, glutinous rice cake turns out to be the fried noodle made of highland barley which is similar to the fried noodle in the north China.

When making glutinous rice cakes, you should pour some butter in a bowl and add some tea and glutinous rice cakes in and stir them round with your hand until all materials are thoroughly mixed round and can be kneaded into a ball. You should repeat this procedure for having the cakes. Instead of chopsticks and spoon, the Zang people use their hands when having dinner.