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Archive for December 12th, 2009

Meat

Annapurna Circuit

After some pretty marginal tea houses at the beginning of our trek we came to what looked like a really nice place and Angin had informed me that they had nice private cottages.  When we arrived the place was indeed nice and we headed to the back area that did indeed contain several private rooms.  When we got to mine however, we discovered that a Yak had been slaughtered that morning and my front porch was being used as the butcher shop.  No worries, we simply pulled the tarp, complete with all kinds of yak parts on it, away from the front door and I checked into a truly nice room. I then sat on the stoop as two men used hatchets and long knives to cut the animal into strips for drying. They explained the process and explained that Yaks are not often killed for meat, but when they are old and dying, well you might as well eat them.

Yak butchering outside room

Yak parts


Goat parts

On the other side of the mountain, we had lunch while each household in the small village that owned goats slaughtered two of them.  I inquired with everyone why so many goats were loosing their live today, and from what I gathered this was simply the day you were supposed to kill two goats.  Eating my vegetarian noodles, I talked to the butcher who scraped the hair from the goats head and explained how it would be used to make “very tasty” soup during the soon coming winter. No part of this animal was wasted and the small amount of flesh that came off with the hair was thrown to the patient but obviously hungry dogs.  In the west we have grown accustomed to eating our meet without bones and without skin (chickens for example) but here that is considered a crazy, wasteful, and less “tasty” option.  “Bones provide much flavor, must always cook with bones” the butcher proclaimed.   And given the small amount of meat that is actually consumed here and the amount of hard physical labor that is undertaken here, I am pretty certain that a little chicken skin in a cholesterol problem.

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