In collaboration with our dear friend Lobzang from Mane Village, in 2018 we opeed a new shop by the name Strictly Spiti (we continue selling products from ou store in the hotel as well). Selling only locally produced handicrafts and products from indigenous crops, the intention behind the store is to encourage the ongoing production of these unique products. In doing so we hope to provide a space to spread the benefits of tourism more widely across the community. All of our products are sold at a price that is fair for both the producer and the consumer. We are now working with around 200 local producers and the number continues to rise as more people approach us weekly wishing to be a part of this initiative located in the main bazaar in Old Kaza. Be sure to stop by when you're in town.
Barley Products - Tsampa, roaster barley popcorn, barley coffee.
Dried Apple and apricot, Hand pressed apricot oil, Artwork by local artists, Crochet products, Seabuck thorn leaves, Seabuck Thorn Juice, Rose hip tea, Wild peppermint tea, Wild cumin (zeera), Spitian mandolin, Yak wool carpets and ropes, Handmade Shawls, Dried Cheese.
SEA-BUCKTHORN JUICE & TEA
Sea-buckthorn is a deciduous shrub which grown is western Europe, central Asia and on the Tibetans plateau. The leaves, flowers, and fruits are used to make medicine. The willow-leaved sea-buckthorn which is found in Spiti is restricted to the Himalayas, growing at high altitudes in dry valleys.
A tea containing sea buckthorn is used as a source of vitamins, antioxidants, protein building blocks (amino acids), fatty acids and minerals; for improving blood pressure and lowering cholesterol; preventing and controlling blood vessel diseases; and boosting immunity.
Sea buckthorn berries are used for preventing infections, improving sight, and slowing the aging process.
Sea buckthorn contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and other active ingredients.
What makes sea buckthorn a superfood?
This tiny yellow-orange berry packs 12 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. With high amounts of protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (at least 190 bioactive compounds to be exact), the sea buckthorn berry is a powerful food. Touted as one of the most nutritious and vitamin-rich foods in the world, this berry offers benefits both internally and externally.
Lose weight and fight disease
Studies have shown its ability to contribute to weight loss by preventing the storage of excess fat. With weight loss also comes a decrease of diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
It’s ability to lower levels of CRP (C-reactive protein), a protein associated with inflammation, has also linked sea buckthorn to reduced levels of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Moisturize from the inside out
This mighty berry has a high omega fatty acid content including 3, 6, 9 and the rare 7.
The regular consumption of these fatty acids helps to lubricate a dry, stagnant bowel increasing regular elimination for constipation sufferers.
Get your glow on
What’s awesome about the sea buckthorn berry is its topical uses as well. The high vitamin C content makes it appealing in face creams and serums because of the compound’s collagen-forming abilities. Vitamin C keeps your skin firm, elastic, looking less wrinkled and is known for its restorative properties
We source our honey locally from small bee farmers who produce their honey organically without heating, filtering or blending. Generally farming in Spiti is free of pesticide the quality of honey from this area is significantly better than what you would buy in your local grocery shop.
What makes your honey crystallize solid?
Hippocrates favoured honey as a medicine. The Mayans had a special god for beekeeping. The ancient Egyptians reserved honey for the wealthy. The Norse god Odin attributed his strength and wisdom to the mystical powers of honey. Early Christians saw the honeybee as a symbol of purity. And many cultures, including Celts, Slavs and Jews thought of honey as a food for the gods, while mead (honey wine) was a favoured drink of mortals
Although all honey is "natural" because it is derived from the nectar of flowers, not all honey is "raw," or pure. This is because honey is often heated and processed for pasteurization. Most honey that you will find in a grocery store has been pasteurized in order to maintain its shelf life. Despite the definitions, most people consider natural honey to be raw or organic, and the best place to buy natural honey is locally. Natural or organic foods are healthiest and freshest when you purchase them in an area that is close to you. You will derive the best health benefits from local, natural honey.
Benefits of Honey -
Sweetener: Sugar can be substituted with honey in many food and drinks. Honey contains about 69% glucose and fructose, enabling it to be used as a sweetener that is better for your overall health than normal white sugar.
Weight Loss: Though honey has more calories than sugar, when honey is consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey and lemon juice as well as honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight.
Energy Source: Honey contains about 64 calories per tablespoon. Therefore, honey is used by many people as a source of energy.
Improving Athletic Performance: Honey is a great way to maintain blood sugar levels, muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout, as well as regulating the amount of insulin in the body and energy expenditure.
Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. The type of vitamins and minerals and their quantity depends on the type of flowers used for apiculture. Commonly, honey contains Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.
Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it is often used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines.
Antioxidants: Honey contains nutraceuticals, which are very effective for the removal of free radicals from the body. As a result, our body immunity is improved against many conditions, even potentially fatal ones like cancer or heart disease.
Skin Care with Milk and Honey: Milk and honey are often served together, since both of these ingredients help in creating smooth skin. Consuming milk and honey every morning is a common practice in many countries for this very reason.
Honey can also heal wounds and cuts.
Grown in Spiti traditionally for centuries, coffee made after roasting barley beans is a caffeine-free. It can easily be made in typical espresso machines and coffeemakers or simply mixed in boiling water. Although traditionally considered a coffee substitute for children, it is an increasingly common choice in Italy and other places for those who choose to avoid caffeine for health reasons.
Barley coffee can be enjoyed by everyone even if you are on a low-calories diet (as it is low in fat) and it is rich in complex carbohydrates and does not include simple sugars.
Barley itself has been known for centuries for its health-enhancing properties and has been recognised for its role in lowering cholesterol and glucose levels. It has been used since the Greek times for it exceptional action on the metabolism.
Suitable for Diabetics
100% naturally Caffeine Free
Suitable for Vegetarian and Vegan
It’s better because:
Naturally caffeine free means it won’t interfere with heart or diabetic medications, and won’t irritate your bladder, cause shakiness, irritability or insomnia. It is gentle on the urinary tract, and bladder. It’s ideal for pregnant or nursing mom’s trying to cut down or eliminate caffeine from their diets.
It has none of the harsh acid in coffee and is a great alternative for people with acid reflux, ulcers, or cancer patients who suffer from nausea.
How to use it -
Brew it like coffee in an automatic drip, percolator, French Press and even in some espresso machines. It can be used with coffee to phase out caffeine. You can also drink it as regular coffee, latte, frappe, cappuccino, with cream, sugar, flavouring, honey, milk or black.
Traditionally along with barley the other subsistence crop in Spiti used to be the kala matar (black pea). However, over the years with the transition of the Spitian economy from subsistence based to more market friendly crops like the green pea driven by economic value attached, the black pea has now been replaced. As a result of this the black pea now faces the threat of extinction.
A legume with a high nutritive content, the black pea can also be consumed as a pulse (similar to Kidney Beans/ Rajmah). The Black Pea also makes delicious sprouts and are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only can these peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
These peas also provide good to excellent amounts of five important minerals, three B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. Its proteins helps with maintaining healthy muscles, bones and cartilage. Black peas also contain zinc, an essential trace mineral that has significant health benefits. Zinc is good for your eyes and can help reduce your risk for macular degeneration and protect against night blindness. It’s also a major immune system booster and can help fight influenza and heal wounds
The shawls that we sell are all crafted by local women at home and the money goes directly back to them. We do not make any money from selling the shawls.
Spiti in its culture and geography has lots of special things to offer. The arid cold dessert Spitian society has sustained through the ages depending on scarce resources and within this limitation they have carved out a vibrant lifestyle.
Spiti shawls are well known for their colour and designs and are worn by both: men and women. Mostly made of local sheep wool but sometimes are combined with other wool to make more varieties. The shawls play a significant role in the economy of valley and are usually are made by the women in winters. These shawls are made in valley itself by local people who have inherited their skills from their past generations. Shawls made in the valley are woven using handlooms and these handlooms can be found in almost every village.
Traditionally Handmade jams -We are a small jam producer based in Kaza and spend hours in our kitchen developing new recipes and working with marvellous ingredients and flavours. We are proud that all our sweet and savoury condiments are made of natural ingredients and use no artificial flavours, no artificial colours and no artificial preservatives. They are made by hand, using traditional processes; made as you would at home, but perhaps on a bigger scale. Most of our products are also gluten free, which makes sure everyone can enjoy our delicious recipes! Our jams and jellies feature the best seasonal produce from our region.
Seabuck thorn and apple jam
Seabuck thorn jelly
Apricot and ginger
Spiced apricot jam