Weds - Fri 5-9.30pm 🍴  Sat / Sun 12-3pm / 5-9.30pm

Food at Death, Death as Food

During the Queen’s funeral yesterday, Yeshi wondered all the time when people were getting a chance to eat. It was a long day, and food was conspicuous by its absence. How was everyone getting through the day? Did they all manage a snack in the car at least?

In Tibet, when somebody dies, food plays a central part in the proceedings. The deceased usually lies at home for about four days after death – this allows time for their spirit or consciousness to separate from the body, a key component of reincarnation. During this period the body of the person who has died is offered food and drink at every mealtime alongside relatives and visiting guests. Neighbours step in to provide all the meals: a bereaved family must be nourished well.

Burials take various forms in Tibet, but there is very little attachment to the actual body after death. In fact, in order for a person’s soul to have an easy transition into their next life, Tibetans believe that there should be no trace left of the physical form.

In the many rocky, mountainous parts of Tibet, where wood is scarce and the ground is hard with frost, cremation and internments are rare. The most common burial method is the “sky burial”. A so-called “body-breaker” cuts the corpse into pieces and leaves it on a high, isolated rock as a food offering to vultures. This takes care of the flesh and organs of the deceased. Any remaining bones are smashed and mixed with tsampa (roasted barley flour) and butter. In this way, the vultures are able to consume the whole body. 

When I first learned about Tibetan sky burials the idea seemed very brutal to me. But when Yeshi explained it as a final, ultimate act of giving, and one that has very little, if no environmental impact, it started to make a lot more sense. And more than this – in the traditional western method of internment, the corpse is eaten by insects or maggots anyway. Vultures live far longer, making them arguably worthier recipients of our feed.

So much food for thought.

Now that the period of national mourning is over, we are going big guns this week with a Momo Party. Join us on Saturday 24th September 12-10pm for momos on the pan – festival style – and beer on tap from Earth Ale, the new local brewery who will be in the house with seasonal, limited-batch ales for your tasting and pleasure.

Here are our full opening hours this week:

Wednesday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Thursday & Friday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Saturday: Taste Tibet/Earth Ale Momo Party! 12-10pm

Come for dine in, take away or some great deals on our freezer food. This week’s menu is live on the website now.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Julie and Yeshi

Opening hours this week:
Weds: 5-9.30pm
Thurs – Fri: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
Sat: 12-10pm
☏ 01865 499318

Are you loving the Taste Tibet cookbook? Please leave us a review if so! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more

Momo Moments

Those of you who’ve been following us for some time will know how much it means to us to be able to visit Yeshi’s home

Read More »

Lessons In Patience

This is not a picture of our family, but rather an update on the walnut tree from Yeshi’s village in Tibet that’s thriving in the

Read More »

Business As Usual

We fail to bring you anything fun and interesting this week – the truth is that we’re dealing with some difficult stuff behind the scenes.

Read More »

The Restaurant is Closed!

We’re away all summer at festivals. The online shop is open but there may be a short delay with dispatch. The restaurant in Oxford will reopen on 06/09/24. Thank you for bearing with us!

We Are Closed!

Our chefs are in Tibet and the restaurant will be closed until 15/05/24. The online shop is open but deliveries will be made after 13/05/24. Thank you for bearing with us and see you soon!