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Food and Drink Food and Drink

Food and Drink

Most Bhutanese food is similar to Indian food, and it is extremely spicy. Chiles are not necessarily "added" to the dish; rather, they are simply part of the entire dish. Make sure you specify to the waiter your desired level of spiciness. Food in Bhutan has been strongly influenced by China, Tibet, and India, but it does have its own unique taste and character.

If you go on a Bhutan group tour, do not worry about the food quality and safety in the country. There are many natural options here; local vegetables and other foods are grown without pesticides, and there is almost no environmental pollution in the country. Livestock feed is all-natural. The traditional local diet consists primarily of vegetables and beef. Like China and India, the favorite vegetable in Bhutan is the chile, and it can be found everywhere. Most locals drink a tea that is similar to that found in Tibet. Bhutan has its own alcohol brewed with corn or wheat.

To accommodate those who want food with a little bit less chile, we provide meals that are not very spicy. Generally, we provide a buffet of sorts, with six or more food options to choose from. You will see beef, pork, fish, and seasonal vegetables. Bhutan believes in 'ahimsa,' nonviolence against all living things, so meat is imported from India. Common vegetables here are white cabbage, beans, carrots, mushrooms, and peppers. When at a restaurant, you will see that Bhutanese cooks incorporate Western elements into their preparation style.

A local brew you will see is 'bang chhang,' a warm drink from wheat similar to beer. Also, Red Panda Weissbier is a very flavorful beer popular among Bhutanese residents. One common local tea is 'ngad-ja' and is also called 'masala tea.' This is served Indian style (sweet and milky). Coffee is served here, but it is usually instant. We advise you not to drink the tap water in Bhutan, but you will easily be able to find bottled water in most locations.

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