DRUK YUL ~ The Land of the Fire Dragon
Allow me to introduce you to a country that has held a special place in my heart for many years — indeed, for lifetimes. Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas between the formidable neighbors of China and India, is often referred to as the jewel of the Himalayas. Comparable in size to Switzerland, its landscapes range from altitudes as low as 150 meters to towering peaks exceeding 7000 meters. Within its borders, one finds habitats for creatures such as the snow leopard, the musk deer, and even sightings of tigers at elevations of 4000 meters.
While most nations gauge their prosperity through metrics like Gross National Product, Bhutan has taken a unique approach, measuring its success in terms of Gross National Happiness (GNH). GNH reflects a commitment to fostering an enlightened society where the well-being and happiness of all individuals and sentient beings are paramount, alongside the stewardship of a sustainable environment. The social and cultural tapestry of Bhutan is intricately woven with spiritual traditions, with the majority of its populace adhering to either Buddhism or Hinduism, with subtle animist influences. Spiritual practices permeate daily life, evident in the kingdom’s monuments and ubiquitous prayer flags.
Despite its small size, Bhutan is undergoing a significant transformation. Since transitioning to democracy in 2008, this young democracy has steadfastly pursued the vision of Gross National Happiness, guided by a lineage of wise and spiritually attuned leaders who honor all forms of life.
Embark on a journey with Kutira, a seasoned traveler who has spent over a decade exploring Bhutan. Accumulating more than four years of her life in this mystical realm (excluding past lives), Kutira invites you to join her and like-minded companions to discover the wonders of the Thunder Dragon Kingdom. Here, success is measured not in material wealth but in the collective happiness of its people. Bhutan stands as the ultimate gem of the Himalayas, beckoning those whose spirits are attuned to its beauty.
Do not delay any further; reach out to us now to secure your reservation for a truly unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.
ALL ABOUT FOOD – A CUISINE EXTRAORDINAIRE – FARM TO TABLE – GET READY!
For the adventurous foodie, a visit to a Bhutanese kitchen is not just about tasting food; it’s about experiencing the soul of Bhutan.
Bhutan’s culinary kitchen is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, colors, and traditions that echo the kingdom’s deep connection with nature and spirituality. The Bhutanese kitchen, often the heart of a Bhutanese home, is a place where ancient practices meet the simplicity of Himalayan life, creating a unique and colorful culinary landscape.
The cornerstone of Bhutanese cuisine is its profound reliance on locally sourced, organic ingredients that thrive in the mountainous terrain. Red rice, a nutty-flavored, medium-grain variety that turns a pale pink upon cooking, serves as the base for many meals. It is complemented by an array of dishes that celebrate the bounty of Bhutan’s lush valleys and steep mountainsides.
Chilies hold a place of honor in this culinary tradition, not just as a seasoning but as a main ingredient. The fiery ‘Ema Datshi’ is the national dish, a hearty stew made from chilies and local cheese known as Datshi. This dish encapsulates the essence of Bhutanese cuisine, with its bold flavors and simple ingredients, and it is a must-try for any visitor.
Vegetables and herbs, picked fresh from kitchen gardens or wild-harvested, play a significant role in the Bhutanese diet, reflecting the Buddhist ethos of living in harmony with nature. Dishes like ‘Jasha Maroo’ or ‘Jasha Tshoem’, chicken stews flavored with ginger, garlic, and sometimes the unique Sichuan pepper known as ‘Thingay’, offer a glimpse into the aromatic world of Bhutanese cooking.
Fermentation is another key aspect of the culinary practices here, adding depth and complexity to the flavors. From ‘Suja’, the butter tea that warms in the cold mountain air, to the fermented bamboo shoots used in various dishes, the process of fermentation introduces a tangy zest that is both surprising and delightful.
In a Bhutanese kitchen, the preparation of food is a mindful act, often accompanied by prayers and offered with hospitality that is deeply ingrained in Bhutanese culture. Meals are typically served family-style, encouraging sharing and community, against the backdrop of hand-carved wooden bowls and brightly colored textiles that add to the sensory feast.
The culinary landscape of Bhutan is a reflection of the country’s pristine environment, spiritual heritage, and the warmth of its people. It offers an unforgettable journey through tastes and aromas that are as vibrant and colorful as the country itself.
It doesn’t matter what kind of diet you have, there will alwasy be enough food that will delight you. Just let us know if you have any dietary restrictions and we will make sure we let the chefs in Bhutan know.