Nepalese Yak cheese
Nepalese Yak cheese
Nepal is famous and an upcoming destination for many things. The trekking, the views, the multitude of action sport opportunities. Most people come here for the mountains. But I have found some things in Nepal that many people don’t come here for. But still just as good.
The highlands have something called “Yak“. Or more accurate, they have many Yaks. A Yak is a cow which is not really a cow, not a bull, not a deer nor an oxe. It is something in between. It is used for its rich milk, the warm fur for gorgeous shawls and scarfs and for making all types of garments from it.
And to make cheese. Yak cheese can be hard to find in the lowlands or bigger cities. But it is possible as many eateries has started to incorporate Yak cheese into their sandwiches and salads.
I personally love cheese. All types of cheese. Almost. Yak cheese has a pale yellow colour and has a very distinct taste. Not like Parmesan but it is still strong.
When I went up in the Himalayas on our trekking adventure to Langtang with my partner and his nephew, we visited a small Yak cheese factory to see how this delicious treat is made. It is not very hard to make and it is a “fast”cheese that matures quickly.
The Yak on the other hand is not so fast. It is a very slow animal that feeds on grass from the valleys all day long. Unless you upset it. It will come after you if you do. I went for a morning walk in Langtang village on our day off from trekking and nobody was outside but me and the Yaks and horses walking free in the village, as they always do here in Nepal. I had heard that they can be aggressive if startled or frightened. I went past a stone block wall and came face to face with a big one. The great big Yak. Fortunately for me this Yak was still in the mode of eating and just looked at me with a disturbed look in his eyes and continued eating.
I really see why the locals in Nepal treasure the Yak. It is useful in so many ways. But they rarely eat the meat though. The only time a Yak is used for food is if it has died of natural causes.
I have invested in a really warm, pretty wrap shawl made from Yak wool but I really wish I had bought some cheese with me to Kathmandu. It is really delicious. Go Yak!