Chillies and Willies

On my Facebook page you may have noticed some chillies and even the odd willy in the 'Beautiful Bhutan' album. Well, let me explain...

Bhutan produces a staggering 10,500 tonnes of chillies per year. For a country with only 700,000 inhabitants that is a lot of chilli. Of course some are exported but they eat a lot themselves! You see chillies drying on the roofs of most houses, hanging from windows and even on empty petrol drums in the middle of the street...

The most popular dish is Ema Datse - chilli cheese. This is green (hot) and red (real hot) chilli mixed into a cheesey consistency much like cheese sauce you get with macaroni cheese.

Kezang and Tshering would have this for breakfast with rice. With breakfast was one step too far for us but we did our best to enjoy it with lunch and dinner.

And as for the willies, well,you find them in the form of murals on exterior walls or as wooden carvings hanging from the eaves of homes. They ward off evil spirits and bring luck and fertility. Niche in the market back home?

NB please note these are religious objects and are not designed for carnal pleasures!
Ema Datse on the right next to the mug of tea

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