Expat Magazine

Eating In Nepal: A Love-Hate Relationship

By Hanna

Eating in Nepal is like eating at a buffet and constantly trying to get your money’s worth. In fact, I actually can never go to a buffet and feel I have eaten enough to justify what they are charging so I always end up eating more than I should have and then not being able to move for the next few hours. This is what it is like eating every meal in Nepal.

wedding buffet

At first, you view the fantastic food and smell the mouth watering aromas. There is just no time to wait for the food to cool down as you want to sample a bit of everything and get more before it has gone. Either, whoever has cooked for you has been kind and given you just the right amount of food or they have piled your plate up with heaps of every single dish on offer. Neither option is safe from being loaded with copious second helpings.

Then, is the wave of regret. Regret from eating too much. Regret from making the food taste more bland than if you had had just a small bit. Alas, shortly after comes the aching and feeling sick – after all there is only so much that a human being can eat right? There is only so much rice and potatoes one can consume at the same time - right?

Did I mention that the plates are in fact the size of trays!

Did I mention that the plates are in fact the size of trays!

But not Nepalis, Nepali people are like machines when it comes to food. I have seen the tiniest people devour the biggest portions that I have known anyone to attempt before. Even then they can still eat more when it is offered.

After coming to Nepal and going through this ordeal at every meal time I knew I had to take a stand. Surprisingly, by saying no it is simply not enough. Nepalis will still keep on loading your plate high whilst you’re begging for no more food. I learnt that when it comes to food, no might as well mean yes as they really don’t care whether you want it or not. You will get it and you better eat it or they will be offended.

Another thing I have found in Nepal is that you will be given a plate of food to which you accept gracefully and eat. But without any prior warning, another plate piled high with more food is brought out and you realised that in fact you just ate the ‘starter’ and now have to tackle through the ‘main’ meal which consists of everything you just ate but with a different type of rice.

After being force fed so many times when I cannot eat anymore or with foods that I do not even like, I thought of a plan. At meal times, I now eat even slower than I did before; I use a smaller spoon and chew for longer periods of time. The time it takes for me to eat one plate of food is enough for people to have had their seconds and there is usually not enough left for me. That suits me just fine.


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