Most residents in Diqing are Tibetans, so food is of Tibetan flavor. Here in Diding, tourists can taste natural Zanba, buttered tea, barley beer, have a dinner at home of Tibetan's and experience the local customs.
Food and beverage in Zhongdian county seat are mainly of Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibetan style. There are different flavor restaurants in the county seat, tourists can easily find one of them. The food of Yunan is hot, similar to Sichuan food. The Tibetan food is often made of beef, besides, plenty of Tibetan snacks can be found here such as Zanba, buttered tea and barley beer etc.
Zanba(roasted highland barley flour)
Zanba is the main food for Tibetan people and is divided into several kinds: highland barley Zanba, pea Zanba and mixed Zanba. Zanba is nutritious and is easy to carry about. It is the most convenient food for the Tibetans living in plateau. When they go on a long journey, if they bring a bowl or Zanba bag, Zanba, butter and dry milk residue, no matter where they are, they can use water instead of buttered tea to make a meal of fragrant and nice Zanba without lighting a fire to cook. Zanba is made by drying highland barley in the sun, parching the barley and grinding the barley into flour in water mill. It is ground into coarse or fine flour according to different flavor, and it also can be ground into refined Zanba by removing the bran The way of eating it is: pour a little buttered tea into a bowl first, add some butter, fine milk residue and white sugar into it, and then put the Zanba flour into the bowl. Then hold the bowl with the left hand, mix them with the right hand in the bowl to and fro, and mould them into small balls for eating after they are mixed thoroughly.
Tibetans used to breed cow and drink nutritious milk. From spring to winter, the pails of herdsmen are full of fresh milk. People use milk to make varied milk products such as cheese, skin formed on boiled milk, butter and yogurt for common use.
When visiting Tibetan home, the host will entertain you with picked vegetables soup. Pickled vegetables taste good and can regulate appetite, increase secreting gastric juice and take precaution against cold.
Barley wine , Zhongdian
Having the name of Tibetan Beer, Barley wine is the wine favorite to Tibetans and is a necessary part at festivals, marriage feasts and on some other important occasions. It is similar to yellow rice wine, which appears light yellow and tastes pure sweet and a little bit sour. The Tibetans regard toasting barley wine as a sincere courtesy when entertaining honored guests. If you sojourn in a Tibetan home, the host will entertain you with barley wine.
When the host presents you a cup of wine, you should dip your ring finger in the wine and flick the wine in the air three times to express your respects to the heaven, the earth and the ancestors before sipping the wine. The host will fill the cup, and you take a sip of the wine again. After the host fills your cup for the forth time, you have to bottom it up. Tibetans toast each other with songs wishing people well, good health and so on. The person who is being toasted empties their cup when the song is finished.
Buttered Tea, Zhongdian
Buttered tea is Tibetan traditional drink. It is necessary everyday food, and is also excellent drink for entertaining guests.
Buttered tea is a kind of very nutritious drink being suited to high and cold region. It can resist coldness, promote body fluid and quench thirst, and get rid of fatigue, so it is popular with Tibetans. The way of making it is: put a suitable amount of butter and salt( if having milk, egg and walnut may be better) into strong tea, pour them into a specially made round wood pail .A special stick is used to beat the tea up and down in the pail to make the butter and tea dissolve fully. Then it is poured into a pot or boiler, is put on slow fire and is ready to be poured out for drinking.
Holding 600 people to have a dinner together, it is the biggest restaurant in Diqing. The boss invited specially a grand cooker from inland to cook delicious food for customers. The cooker is the fame of the restaurant. Adderss：No11 Changzheng Road, Diqing
Hongmu Flavor Snack Restaurant
ocated at Heping Road, nearby the Longfengxiang Hotel. It serves all kinds of Tibetan snacks with reasonable prices.
In addition, some four-star hotels, three-star hotels and two-star hotel also serve special food and drinks of different places.
The food is very cheap in Zhongdian, however, it is a bit higher in Tiger Leaping Gorge. The special dishes of Tiger Laping Gorge are local chicken and the fresh fish of Jinsha River. Make sure you know the price before ordering.
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