Diet of Naxi People

The Naxi, like most people in evevy moderately developed countries today, enjoy "three square meals" per day. The main evening dish consists of rice, corn, potatoes and pork – and of course Baba, a kind of tasty and fragrant cake, is served. For breakfast, the Naxi usually have steamed bread and boiled cake. Lunch generally consists of two courses of fried dishes, salted vegetables and soup.

Whether living on the flatlands or in mountainous districts, the Naxi people have ample access to a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, turnips and beans, throughout the seasons. Of all the renowned traditional Naxi dishes, mushrooms with meat stuffing, usually served in connection with a sacrificial ceremony, is the most popular. The Naxi are also fond of buttered tea in the mornings, and a green tea after other meals. In general, spicy and tangy foods, as well as sweet foods, are Naxi favorites.


Baba – any way you care to make it – is the local Naxi snack. Baba is a fragrant, flour cake that will make your mouth water. Here are the main ways Baba is served:

Stewed Baba
The flour cakes are simmered in the proper amount of water in a big covered pot over a slow fire until they appear golden and begin to release their irresistable fragrance.

Roasted Baba
Place the half-cooked (in water) cake on a smooth, heated cobblestone at the edge of a fire and let it roast there until it becomes puffy and soft. It is delicious like this with thick chilli sauce.

Pot-Lid Baba
Place a wedge of cooked (in water) cake on the lid of a large pot while melons – or potatoes – are being cooked. When the melons, or potatoes, are ready, so is the Baba! The Baba reheated this way is very soft.

Naxi Baba (Photo from

Special Feast Dishes

Sandieshui (Snowy Mountain Feast)

Sandieshui is banquet held in honor of distinguished guests and consists of up to 40 odd dishes, though the dishes may vary with the seasonal offerings (usually local specialties are the mainstay, and some of these of course change with the seasons). "Mountain food", however, is a must for the Snowy Mountain Feast. For example, pipa meat, a dish made of salted pork that is pipa-shaped is delicious, while multi-layered roast bread is fragrantly delicious.

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