Bhutanese food is very simple but delicious and each region has its own specialities. Most meals consist of meat (yak, chicken, pork or beef) and vegetables, which are accompanied with rice, and chilies feature in almost all recipes. A popular dish is Ema Datshi which is simply made of cheese and chillies - it's tasty but very hot. When it comes to snacking, fried yak skin is a popular choice. Tibetan specialities such as momos (a type of dumpling) and noodles are also popular in Bhutan and western food is becoming more prevalent in cities.
There is a huge number of vegetarians in Bhutan so finding delicious, meat-free meals is easy. All kinds of plant life is included in Bhutanese cooking such as nettles, ferns, orchids and a huge variety of mushrooms. A common drink found across the country is yak butter tea – an acquired taste but certainly something worth trying.
Safe eating while travelling in Bhutan
The biggest problem most travellers have with Bhutanese food is the liberal use of chilli in almost every single dish. For those with a sensitive palate, try and ask for food without chilli and if you have no luck there, stick to rice and momos. As to food safety, if you are served something that looks old or unclean, it is best to avoid it. It is good practice not to eat salad during your trip as it may have come into contact with unclean water. You should also request that your drink have no ice in it as the cubes might have been made using tap water and could make you sick.