When you are on Himalayas for trekking; the food plan is an essential. Generally Everest Region Trek is about 4 to 20 days depending on your trekking route and itinerary. Let’s discuss on food found in Himalayan Menu. You are wrong if you think you will have a huge choice of food in trekking areas of Nepal. And if you already have trekked in one of the regions of Nepal and doing the second one, you might have expected to discover a different menu. The fact is; the menus in Nepalese trekking routes are mostly the same. Here is what a typical menu in trekking route of Nepal looks like:
Usually; you will have to breakfast early morning around 7 o clocks in order to reach your destination before evening. You have to walk everyday 6-7 hours roughly including a lunch break in the middle of the walk.
The common Breakfast menu while trekking in the Mountain is toasted bread and here is the menu of toasted bread:
You will get varieties of eggs recipe in the Menu and some of them are:
Bread and Pancakes
Bread is Traditionally Tibetan local food in the Trekking region. You should try the bread once it gives you the traditionally local taste and freshness.
Tibetan bread is thick and deep fried bread which is high calorie breakfast when you serve with jam, honey or omelet. The flour used to make is the same as of Chapatti bread - wheat. In some places of Annapurna, Langtang and Manaslu region, you can discover Tibetan bread made of buckwheat flour also.
Pancakes on different flavors are available in Trekking route of Nepal. Here is the list of different varieties of Pancakes and Bread;
There is an option for your breakfast which is porridge. This may the good option when you are in higher altitude. According to your choice here is the list of porridge which you find in tea houses.
Known for its high calorie and energy it produces, Tsampa is a traditional breakfast of Himalayan people. Champa is a collection of millet flour, buckwheat flour, wheat flour, cereal flour and sometimes lentil flour also.Before crushing into powder, all these grains are mixed and roasted thoroughly to make the flour digestable.when it is served on your table, you will get it like a pudding, already mixed with hot water and some yak butter. You can add some sugar or honey to make it sweet according to your choice of taste buds.
Lunch at Everest Region
Lunch is the main course of the meal in Nepal and for lunch; Dal bhat is the most popular dish in trekking routes of Nepal. Not only because it is the national dish of Nepal; also because of the sources of nutrient and the system of refill! Yes, when you pay for a plate or set of Dal bhat, you can eat as much as you can without adding any extra penny on your Dal bhat bill. However, if you are having set of non- veg Dal Bhat, you can’t expect to have more meat on refill session. Plain rice, vegetable curry, lentil soup and Achar(pickle) are always available for refill.
Here is the list of the varieties in the rice menu which are available in all tea houses in trekking trail of Nepal.
However, there is much other food option in Nepali trekking route. You will get different types of lunch while trekking in Everest region, Langtang region and Annapurna region.
Here are some them:
Thukpa is a Tibetan style home made noodle soup that generally keeps you warm in chilling temperature of Himalayas. The homemade noodle look similar to pasta noodles but is handmade and tastes differently authentic Thukpa is widely found on all teahouse menus of Nepalese trekking trail.
Pasta and Macaroni’s
Pizza and Sandwiches
Other meals you can expect on a Himalayan menu are mostly continental and a few Indian cuisines, spring rolls and pizza are found as main course on a typical menu of trekking route. There is a slim selection on dessert items which looks like this: apple pie, apple fritter, banana fritter, rice, pudding, chocolate rolls and custard pudding. The typical trekking menu is not over yet. You will be served with popcorn, salad, fried chicken, chips, boiled veggies, and different types of soups such as noodle soup, mushroom soup, veg soup, tomato soup, chicken soup and garlic soup! Note that Garlic soup is the king of soups in mountains. Want to know why? Follow another blog “why garlic soup is important in mountains" to know the reason. Besides all these food those are generally found on a regular menu of tea houses.
You will be served dinner at tea houses where you will stay, around 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
The dinner menu is basically the Nepali traditional food “Dal bhat” or you can choose the similar to lunch.
Besides breakfast, lunch and dinner, here is a list of hot and cold beverage available in trekking routes of Nepal.
Here are some places in trekking zone which have coffee machine to get real beans coffee.
in Everest region.
in Annapurna region.
Drinking water during the trek to Mountain
Water is the most important ingredient as part of trekking. A trekker is suggested to drink 3 liters of water each day. Water helps your body not only rehydrate but also helps you avoid potential altitude sickness during trekking. Bottled mineral water is available in most of the trekking routes but it is not recommended to buy this kind of water due to environmental causes and hefty price you have to pay. Along every trekking route, you can find spring water or tap water to refill your bottles to which you can add chlorine or iodine for purification. Tea houses offer you free tap water which you can purify before drinking. You can also buy boiled and filtered water if your stomach doesn’t stand the taste of chlorine. In Annapurna circuit trek, there are safe drinking water stations in Annapurna circuit trek those provide treated water in reliable price. Places like Ghorepani and Ghandruk have banned selling bottled mineral water. You can buy “safe drinking water" in these places instead of mineral water. In Everest trekking region, mineral water is found everywhere but the local government is likely to ban single all kinds of single use plastics effectively starting from 1st of January 2020. Nepal is rich in sources of drinking water, so you are suggested to drink tap or spring water after treating or filtering. Here are some drinking water tips for you.
Is it safe to eat meat during trekking?
Meat contains high energy and protein and it is likely to be good for trekkers to walk multiple days. However eating meat is not safe in all the places during trekking. The mostly available meat in mountains is chicken which is loved by the trekkers all the times. It will be safe if the meat is fresh and methods of hygienic preparation are applied before serving meat on the plate. In Everest trekking route, it is prohibited to kill animals according to the local Buddhist culture. The meat you get in Everest trekking route is supplied from places below Lukla and is carried in basket for multiple days before it reaches tea houses. So, this meat is undoubtedly stale and often contaminated before reaching places like Dingboche and Lobuche. Similarly In Annapurna Base camp trek, killing is prohibited beyond Sinuwa which is 2 days before reaching ABC. One can expect fresh meat around Poonhill trek and some parts of Annapurna circuit. Rest of the trekking routes have prohibition of animals killing which makes local meat vendors carry the stuff in basket, wrapped with plastic . Besides Chicken, you will be lucky to get fresh buffalo meat and yak meat in places like Ghorepani, Manang , Tatopani and Ghandruk of Annapurna region. In mountains, it is generally cold throughout the year and because of this, many tea houses do not bother keeping refrigerator or some of them can’t have it because of low voltage electricity. It is hard to keep meat real frozen in mountains. So, it is suggested not to eat meat during the trek unless it is fresh. You are not prone to get sick every time you eat meat, but you better be aware of the quality of meat
Interesting facts about food in making routes
Most of the pizzas you eat or see in the trekking routes are not baked in an oven. They use MOMO steamer to bake the mountain pizza!
All kinds of curry you eat in mountains have garlic mixed in. There will be no garlic only if you mention “no garlic" on the order.
More than 80 percent of Nepalese people eat Dal Bhat twice a day.
Tea houses generally do not make spicy food for foreigner trekkers but they have a habit of eating fairly spicy food. Of you are a spice lover, you can request for spicy food which tastes far different from the average.
In lower Himalayan areas, they mix coriander in fresh pickles! Do you like that flavor?
There is no fish in mountain menu. You can only get canned tuna in the name of fish item. The traditional Sherpa dishes like Syakpa and Thenthuk have at least 3 different types of hot sauces including Himalayan black pepper!
Nepalese people usually eat Dal bhat with hand (right hand). If you respect the local culture, you are supposed to eat with right hand.
Even in high hamlets like Gorakshep (5180m), the milk and butter you get in tea or bread are not from Yaks. Those are regular butter and powder milk.
On your plate of Dal bhat, there is one item which is not Nepalese. Papad, the crunchy bread is actually an Indian food and is made in factory.