5 things to know when eating in Nepal
Ever wanted a few tips on how and where and what to eat while travelling through the Himalayas? Look no further! Here comes a few do’s and don’ts when looking for a satisfying meal in the middle of the mountains.
We all know, when you travel far and wide, this planet is filled with tastes and ingredients from a multitude of environments, cultures and traditions. One of the best ways to get to know the place your travelling to or through is to experience the local cuisine. Nepal has one of the world’s best and oldest farming traditions, which really shows in their lover of food and life and people.
This being said, there are somethings every foreigner should know when trying to get a filling and safe meal without the problem of extra bathroom breaks or over paying when there are fantastic values and local foods only a few shop fronts away!
1. Use tourist hotspots sparingly. These places are often large, have uniformed wait staff and often have a large clear sign with its name in English. Another way to spot these places is examining the menu outside the entrance. There is often a tax and/or service charge written somewhere in the menu. These establishments are often still good value for money with a wide variety of foods available. The issue here is the extra cost, which, if you are eating out for every meal, you will spend a great deal of extra cash that can be used for great local bites instead.
2. Find MoMo, and order extra! MoMo are small steamed or fried dumplings, containing finely cut meat or veg, even potato and cheese! One portion often consists of 8 to 12 pieces, and these can be found for as little as £0.50 in some places. They are always made with care and are a staple of Nepalese cooking, one portion is never enough!
3. Use your noodle! If you want to, and you should, try, eating Nepalese street food. However, use your own judgement when considering hygiene and how strong your stomach really is! While fantastic and in great variety, the street vendors of Nepal are purveyors of some of the hottest chillies you can find! If you are asked; ‘bira’? this means; ‘do you want it spicy?’, go for it!
4. Pinching pennies. Watch out for those crafty sellers! Some vendors will see a foreigner and automatically charge you more by even a couple of dollars. While this amount seems small, and you may well pay it, be aware that the Nepalese people enjoy haggling greatly and will not take it as an insult if you attempt to lower the price!
5. Sweet tooth. The Nepalese children and adults alike love their candy, but it is very different than the Western ideas of sugared sugar! Some are salty, some are spicy, and if you’re with a group of friends they can be a great experience for trying new flavours and watching each other’s reactions. Good luck!