Russian born when I first came to Nepal, I did not want to see the temples or the mountains that seem to catch the imagination of every traveler, and no, I did not go to the food either. In fact, I was drawn here. You see, the first time Nepal caught me was at the age of six, so the usual tourist highlights did not interest me yet. Frankly, Nepal was not interested in me either. My mother then was her boyfriend to Nepal on vacation and to visit my aunt (mother's sister) who had married a Nepalese who studied in Russia at that time. Although I have a memory for Nepal, I saw in the 80's, it certainly did not leave me as a lasting impression as the food; For the little thing I remember most of the time had little to do with the Himalayas and Pagoda. My mother and I would later immigrate to the United States and I would not get a real taste of Nepalese food, apart from the occasional taste of achhar (a spicy Nepalese pickle) or a rather "not the same" substitute Indian food until I was 24 years old when the Nepalese food spun my memories and taste buds again.
When I arrived in Nepal, this time in 2007, little had been changed. My family perspective has been that there was now more traffic, the cites were now more congested, but the core in Nepal remained the same. I loved it, but what took my attention was the tourists. Nepal is certainly more popular today than it was then and the thriving tourism industry unfortunately in an effort to meet the western tourist's fear of trying something new, in my opinion, hidden the true taste of Nepal by making it too easy to refrain from Nepalese food.
Unlike the thousands of others who now come to Nepal to experience trekking in the Himalayas, I also dared to do the same. Granted, the area I was on my way through, the Annapurna Conservation Area, was the most developed hiking route in Nepal, but I was a bit cut off by what I saw. The villagers who only served traditional Nepalese dishes now offer pizza and cesar salad among other typical Western goods to accommodate the new age's taste.
Maybe my views are different from most, but when I come to a country, I want to experience as much as the country has to offer. People, sights and culture and certainly those who manage to achieve the above get much of what is Nepal, but at the same time they leave as much (sorry for the word game) on the table.
I feel that what I am very close to nails on a chalkboard is the fearsome tourist. I honestly understand how people traveling thousands of miles to come to Nepal arrive with such fear of a bit of traveler's diarrhea as they likely will come anyway (can be treated with simple over-counter medication and or over counter antibiotics available in Nepal) that they do not dare venture outside of Hyatt for a meal, all to miss a lot. As diverse as Nepal is cultural, it is also as varied culinary. I think my aunt is best, "the chances are that the diarrhea, as a traveler, does not come from Nepalese food, but from the tourists, a Nepalese villageman prays to prepare them for mushroom, sausage and olive pizza."
I I do not know about you, but I trust a Nepalese villager much more to prepare what they know best and eat daily, much more than trying to restore Western food with intermittent refrigeration and ingredients "unnatural" to Nepal. Unfortunately, it's not all that seems like I found myself trekking along many dumbfounded travelers who questioned how they got the drive after digesting a burger made of imported meat (beef or rather cows is holy in Nepal), Swiss cheese and salad that came to their dining table along the same 5-day hike as they had just passed. The moral of history is, think of your brain, not just your belly.
The problem alone if you do not eat ethnic food native to an area would have little significance if the problems with it had been confined to frequent bathing for a passing traveler. Nepal is proud of its heritage, terrain and nature, and especially its food, but it is the same "eco-tourist" who comes to Nepal with ideas of preserving all Nepal and "helping" the Nepalese people (a doubtful suggestion as it is), it has often been seen to eat French fires and chicken Cesarsalat for a meal that is not aware of how it affects the immediate (largely trade-based) local economy and the environment.
The additional preparation methods required for the manufacture of these items certainly use more fuel in an area where natural gas is often unavailable. If there is an increased demand for fossil fuels and unusual foods, these materials must be collected or obtained from the available, which increases the costs which ultimately permeate the entire economy.
Certainly not the only reasons to try Nepalese food. The mere fact that it's delicious has a lot to do with it. With so much to try, it's a jigsaw puzzle in itself, why so many shy away.
Nepal, located between China (Tibet) in north and india to the south, has for thousands of years been a stopover for travelers from both regions. With these travelers came the food and the mix of foreign influences together with the local cuisine has created the Nepalese menu, but it does not stop there.
If you were to visit a site dedicated to travel in Nepal, they would undoubtedly find out about how culturally diverse Nepal is like a country that has dozens of ethnic groups, many with their own special foods.
There is Newari, "Sukuti", which is delicious before dinner-like to have drinks, with shredded dry meat (gutted), ginger, garlic, onion, tomato, salt, oil and some crushed green or red chili for heat. Rinse into pieces in one's hand, the bowl is eaten as one would eat peanuts or chips.
Of course, every country seems to have its version of dumpling. Called "mo-mo" in Nepal, it's a juicy, traditionally round-shaped steamed dumpling stuffed with a variety of stuff from chicken, goat (sheep), buffalo to vegetables and potatoes. Served with a spicy side sauce, the bowl is a favorite among Nepalese and travelers as well as offered on what seems to be almost all food items.
When traveling near and around rivers, you are almost sure to run into another delicacies, if found in the west, would give fierce competition to fish and chips. This delicious snack is "tareko matza" (eel) an eel fish, usually no larger than 25cm (although other dishes use much larger samples) beat in spices, fried and eaten completely. Scary scary looks first, they are irresistible after the first bite after a dip in a side sauce. The fish is such that there are no inedible bones, and the smaller samples can be eaten as it is. The larger, can easily get rid of the spine by simply pulling each other from the flame and crispy fish when cooked.
Served with almost all traditional Nepalese meals, is the Nepalese staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari. A lentil soup poured over rice and served with any number of vegetables and in some cases some meat. Usually vegetarian in nature, dish, high content of protein (lentils), carbs and vitamins is an important nutrient in Nepal. The usual meal in Nepal is either Dal Bhat and any number of side heaters to spice the meal.
Nepal, like any other country, is not short of street food, the most popular of which is either Samossa or Panipuri. Samosa is a pyramid-shaped pastry filled with a spicy potato filling and deep-free. Panipuries are golf ball sizes of cheerful, flower-based shells filled with the same potato filling that after being dipped into a tasteful sauce consumed throughout. Those who are in love with corn can find dirt burning in open fire at any time, making corn exterien a kind of chard and crunchy consistency with a softer interior in the kernels, they rub with salt and crushed chilli if desired. There is also the "chatpate" mixture of beans, corn and any number of other ingredients blended with spices and lime juice and eaten from a bowl-shaped paper cup.
Whatever the meal, they all have something in common. Spice! Nepalese chefs love spices, usually not only spicy instead of hot. Of course, it is never hot outside the electoral list. Asan's colorful market in Kathmandu, is popular with tourists and photographers for the wide range of spices for sale there. From curry, mushrooms, ginger powder, garlic, cumin, precious saffron and anything you want.
Foods carry many of the answers to what a culture is. Nepalese food is no different. Within its taste, textures and smells are the story, the reasons for Nepal's daily life and many other answers, if only one should see. There are religious festivals celebrated to offer the monsoon season, and it is no wonder when considering rice and the fact that rice is the Nepalese staple. Life is about food, and cultures are shaped by it. If you come to Nepal, immerse yourself, do not be afraid to step out of your shell. Try the food, that's good.