Marieke ten Wolde's blog

Documentary photography, and other things interesting enough to bother you with

Tibet Travel log 16: Maybe raw meat is your cup of tea?

with 7 comments

Tibet_yak_meat_drying
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In the responses to last week’s post about yak butter tea, where I mildly tried to promote the drink, most people seemed to agree it is horrible. So I thought I would try something this week that might result in the opposite reaction. Although the dried raw yak meat is not really distasteful, I really dislike it, I guess some (medium) rare steak eaters will probably think that yak meat is actually more their cup of tea.

I have made a few long road trips where at some point it seemed that everybody had a carcass hanging in the back of the truck or one thrown in the trunk of the car to take out a piece of bone and a knife to quietly take time to scrape off the last slivers of raw meat at every break. For a while I thought this was part of the driver’s culture as tea often seemed to be replaced by beer and ‘wine’ as well. But also in homes and tents as a special treat for the guests the bowls of dried meat have come out. Luckily I could mostly escape by drinking tea, but I guess meat-lovers might find this an opportunity to play with their pen-knife and chew.
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Tibetan_eating_yakmeat
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There seems to be more understanding for not liking meat then not drinking tea, tea is such an integral part of life that not drinking would be rude. For meat there are always alternatives available and the Tibetan hosts will rumble through their supplies, run down to a shop or borrow from their neighbours to find something the guest would potentially like. And there are many things to like, a few Tibetan dishes I would even count as my favorites: droma, momo (big dumplings), bread filled with meat, tukpa (thick noodle soup), the pickled radish etc (have a look here for some good recipes).
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tibet_inside_a black_tent
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This tray of treats was put in front of me in a black tent in Kham, sitting at the best spot on some old leather couch that was moved to the fire as a simple stool was not considered suitable for me. On the one hand it was very sweet and I felt very welcome, on the other hand it made me very uncomfortable. But the old people living there were so kind that I soon felt like a princess, still looking rough from the road with dusty hair in my old, dirty tracking clothes and big clunky shoes and when I think about the ‘hand-kiss’ the old man gave me before going to bed, I still smile!
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Tibet_yakmeat_in_house

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7 Responses

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  1. Hi Marieke, interesant verslag en mooie foto’s -ook de vorige over TCM. Er zijn dus toch meer Nederlanders in de buurt!

    dutchinaman

    February 10, 2013 at 10:20

  2. I loved the title, the contents and the photos of your post! Thank you for yet another interesting information.
    Although dried meat is more my cup of tea, I still would like to try the yak butter tea one day, but without the worrying things floating in it :-), however it is unlikely I shall ever make it to that part of the world so your blog is a nice substitute!

    himalayanbuddhistart

    February 9, 2013 at 20:44

  3. Love the photographs .. and thug-je-che for the link. 🙂

    simplytibetan

    February 8, 2013 at 23:55

    • Thank you, also for the pickled radish recipe!
      I think there are some people who now would like to try butter tea. I am not sure if it can be done without yak butter, but if you could post some guidelines I will spread the word!

      Marieke ten Wolde

      February 9, 2013 at 20:54

  4. Hi Marieke, geweldig verhaal met nog mooiere foto’s. Dank je…..hoop dat dit allemaal in je boek is terug te vinden.

    Ruud Pothuizen

    February 8, 2013 at 19:31

    • Hoi Ruud, dank je.
      Ik vrees wel dat alle foto’s uit deze blog onderhand weg-ge-edit zijn uit het boek, de eerste twee met pijn het in hart. Dus ik ben altijd blij als ze in een blog toch kan laten zien.

      Maar eigenlijk is dat goed nieuws, het boek is beter… (denk ik)

      Marieke ten Wolde

      February 9, 2013 at 20:51

  5. I quite enjoyed the description of the environment. Thank you.

    Raven Cypress Wood

    February 8, 2013 at 14:56


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