When you wake up early this morning for your Everest Base Camp trek will you be eating a bowl full of hearty porridge or some cereal?
Hmm…porridge does seem like a good choice as you will want a slow release of energy…have you ever wondered where your breakfast might have come from? Being close to Annapurna will give trekkers a chance to see where some of their Nepalese breakfast comes from by visiting Millet Fields.
What are Millets?
Millets are a group of small seeded grasses which are more commonly known to us as cereal crops or grains. Millets come in a wide variety, the most popular four are:
- Pearl Millet
- Foxtail Millet
- Proso Millet
- Finger Millet
Millet is an important crop, especially for Asia and Africa; it is favoured due its great productivity as it grows under dry and high temperature conditions. Pearl Millet is mostly grown in India and Africa; it is the most popular type of Millet. Millets are adapted to poor, infertile soils and droughty climates.
Millets Variety Pack
Millet plants usually grow up to 4 metres, the grains vary in colour some displaying a near white pigment and others ranging from pale yellow, brown, grey, slate blue and even purple. Millet shapes vary from elliptical, obovate, hexagonal, globular and lanceolate; these may be a little hard to spot in your bowl of porridge… The length of the grain for different Millets can differ for example, Finger Millets can grow from 40cm-1 metre ranging from orange to almost black in colour. The protein in Millet is close to that of the protein level in wheat making it a healthy snack in the form of a cereal bar.
Millets in Food and Drink
It might be an idea before or after your Everest Base Camp trek to try out some of the Millet food and drinks available to you? In Russia, Millet can be eaten with meat and vegetables, unlike Germany where it is boiled with apples and later, honey is added during the cooling process to add sweetness. Similarly, Japan eats candied Millet puffs, which is like a sweet cereal bar unlike western-Indians who use Millet in their chapattis called ‘roti’. Perhaps it would be an idea to ask your Sherpa after your Everest Base Camp trek to go for a pint of Rakshi after. Rakshi is traditionally distilled Nepalese liquor, normally sipped by Sherpas, Tamang, Rai and Linbu people in eastern Nepal.
So if you are a curious trekker, take some time after your Everest Base Camp trek to discover the colourful Millet fields in Annapurna. The bright greens and yellows are a sight to see and photograph.
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