A pressure cooker heats up a heartwarming life on the plateau

BEIJING, March 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from China.org.cn on people’s life in Xizang:

A pressure cooker heats up a heartwarming life on the plateau

Songzhuji and her family live in a village in Nyainrong County, Nagqu City, Xizang Autonomous Region. Given the 4700m altitude, the air pressure is much lower than on the plains, so water boils at a little more than 80 degrees. This poses a culinary challenge for Songzhuji: undercooked rice and cooked meat too firm to be swallowed. So, pressure cookers are a necessity here on the plateau.

However, ordinary pressure cookers are designed for use on flat plains; if used on plateaus, problems may arise, like a lack of pressure, and safety issues. People use a pressure cooker to steam rice, and then they’ll have to switch to pans for cooking soup or other dishes, which is not convenient enough, either.

The Xizang Autonomous Region has an average altitude of over 4,000 meters, thus almost every household faces the not-so-handy-cooker problem like Songzhuji. The local government has directed attention to this issue: Trivial as it seems, it actually has everything to do with whether local people can enjoy tasty meals, and furthermore, whether they feel happy with their lives.

Hence, the local government mobilized industry associations and cooker manufacturers, and researched and experimented to seek breakthroughs in the current design. Just three months later, a new type of cooker was developed; eight months into its launch, the production line of plateau-friendly pressure cookers was rolled out, with a production amount of one million cookers per year, gradually fulfilling demand in the whole region.

Songzhuji now has a new plateau pressure cooker which features a temperature indicator on the lid, and two modes for cooking different food. With it, Songzhuji can cook for her family safely and efficiently, and the yak meat cooked using the new pot is more chewable for children and the elderly.

In another village in Shannan City, Baguo, an elderly lady also smiled at her new cooker — even with one hand handicapped, she can still finish cooking one-handed using this cooker, free from any extra help.

Besides the “plateau cooker,” steamers and boilers that are designed for plateau areas have also appeared in Xizang’s households. Statistics show that nearly 500,000 households in Xizang have used such locally-produced plateau cookers, with nearly a million people benefiting from them.

A single pressure cooker reflects the improvement in people’s lives in Xizang. For more and more households, traditional mud stoves have been replaced by gas stoves, wooden yak butter churn buckets have been replaced by electrical ones; on their tables, steamed, boiled, stewed, and fried foods are common to be seen, and the used-to-be-rare leafy greens are also more prevalent.

A pressure cooker designed for the plateau brought more tasty meals to families in Xizang, while the story behind the cooker epitomizes how people’s lives there have been changing for the cozier.

China Mosaic

A pressure cooker heats up a heartwarming life on the plateau