Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

My Tibetan Cooking Experience

The very idea of preparing a Tibetan meal feels so exotic and exciting that I can't begin to describe it. When I think of Tibet, of course the Himalayas are the first image that springs to mind. And picturing that lofty terrain, I can only imagine the hardships that must be necessary to sustain human life. What grows at that altitude? And how would one manage to lay in an adequate larder of food supplies for the long, harsh winters?

Needless to say, my knowledge of Tibetan food is practically nil. The closest I have come is perusing a menu posted outside Annapurna, a Tibetan restaurant Rene and I happened upon a few months ago in Santa Rosa, California, a town about an hour northwest of Napa. We had just come from a visit to the Charles Schulz Museum, where we enjoyed the collection of memorabilia from the Peanuts cartoon strip. We were on our way to a nearby sushi bar (where else?) when we discovered Annapurna, and although I was most intrigued and curious to learn about Tibetan food, I already had my palate set for sushi. After all, it is my favorite food. Given the choice between sushi and any other kind of food on the planet, I will choose sushi every time. So, alas, I didn't get to try Tibetan food that evening, but something tells me I'm about to learn everything I could possibly want to know about Tibetan cuisine... and more.