Monday, August 24, 2015

Tracking Meals on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek

If you didn't eat Nepali food, then what exactly did you eat?
Gurung Bread which really reminds me of Prata, Spring Rolls which resembled giant curry puffs, Papad which is similar to keropok and Momos which are really pan-fried dumplings! Only pizza and fried noodles or rice, looks and tastes like how it 'should'!
We were dining at a Nepali restaurant in Toa Payoh after our inaugural craft party (the portions were very generous, I must say!) when I lamented that I didn't know much about authentic Nepali food despite being there for 14 days last December. Only when I asked my crafters if they had seen my Instagram photos, and proceeded to search for photographic evidence, did I realize that I didn't take a single food shot during the 10-day trek with my phone! How uncharacteristic of me!

 And, that's how this post was sparked.

On trek, there was a fair selection of food available. The menus were quite standardized, although the actual standard varied among guesthouses. Meat, or in fact everything, got more scarce and expensive the higher we climbed, which shouldn't come as a surprise. Our guide budgeted and held on to the purse strings (our tour package included meals), so we had to stick to the suggested combination of soup, main and drink based on how much was left, which meal of the day it was, and the price. He was always genial and reasonable about it so we were fine with things. Any extra, (sometimes including hot or potable water), we had to fork out for it ourselves. Oh, lugging some snacks (OH Pringles!) won't hurt too.

We generally stuck to the same dishes to play it safe, and had a fairly good appetite (food didn't come easy, feed so you can hike further!). Nepali food is clearly influenced by Chinese and Indian cuisine, the food on the trek catered well for tourists. If I had to describe the food we usually chose, it would be "Western Food As Interpreted by Nepalis with a dash of Korean". You could never go wrong with pizza (at least for us), unlike with pasta or fried noodles. For soup at dinnertimes, we usually had Noodle Soup (the Korean Nongshim), because we needed the carbs. There were quite a few avid Korean hikers (solo, couples, groups of all ages) so it explained the Korean influence (some brought their own ready-made rice!).

It was recommended in the menus that hikers order the same food, but we couldn't, if the dish tanked, we'll both starve, it's probably more feasible for bigger groups. While our guide and porter could endure the same dishes everyday (milk porridge, Nepali rice), we couldn't, not when meal times were what we looked forward to and kept us going in between the punishing ascents and descents. It was then that I fell in love with various ginger-honey-lemon concoctions on the trip, they are a great pick-me-up!

Here's a compilation of the food we feasted on:

Breakfast: Variations of toast, milk porridge, muesli with milk, Gurung/TIbetan Bread with Egg (highly recommended!), Chapati

Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food
Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food
Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food

Lunch: fried rice/noodles, pasta, sandwich, macaroni, onion soup, momo (recommended), noodle soup (Nongshim really), pizza (highly recommended!), spring roll (looks more like a giant curry puff to me then the spring rolls I'm used to, also recommended!) Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food

Dinner

Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food

Snacks: Fries, Papad (bought some packed ones home to try! Not bad, but not as good), cake, pie, curd Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food

The Menu

Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food

Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek Food

If you are planning on a trek to ABC, and stumbled upon this blog, I just want to say, despite the pain, despite the cold, it was pretty worth it. Food kept us on 'trek', and we embraced the unique Nepali interpretation, some of which you can't savor anywhere else in the world. Enjoy!

5 comments:

  1. A long way to travel just to savor some of these tasty looking treats but can always dream on it! What great photos and story. Totally appreciate all!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Eddie! The trek was literally to-die-for, will blog about it. Soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. […] More on planning your trek in Nepal here, and if you are curious about the food available on the trek, read this. […]

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  4. […] More on planning your trek in Nepal here, and if you are curious about the food available on the trek, read this. […]

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  5. […] More on planning your trek in Nepal here, and if you are curious about the food available on the trek, read this. […]

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