National food and beverage
Traditionally, we have dairy products known as white foods, milk, yoghurt, fresh cream, cheese, fermented milk, dried milk curds, soft fermented cheese drink (aarts), which clears your sinuses, urum, fresh thick tasty cream, butter, airag (white wine) and these are very delicious and healthy and consumed mostly during summer. When one heads to a far land, Mongolians urgoh milk wishing him well journey because we treat milk as holy, peaceful and happy.
Aaruul, the dried milk curds, is one of the factors responsible for the Mongol's strong, healthy and white teeth and is thoroughly dried in the open air and sun. Remarkably it can be kept ageless and never go spoiled.
Airag is a mild beverage made of fermented mare’s milk and has a slightly acid taste and great for treating thirst. The beverage makes one of the main ingredients of the summer diet of Mongols and no festive is complete without it. Making airag is to collect milk in a big leather bag and churn it perhaps 1000-3000 times. Mongolian people still enjoy it from a thousand years ago and some can drink 2-3 liters in one sit in a big airag bowl. It gives strength and cheerfulness and it destroys pathogenic microbes in the intestines and helps improve the living body metabolisms. When you visit a Mongolian family, they will offer you one big bowl full of airag.
Boodog is made of entire goat or preferably marmot and slowly roasted from the inside out by placing hot rocks inside the skinned carcass, sealing it and then placing on fire. The meat roasted this way is tender and tasty. You can put potatoes and carrots inside the skinned carcass. Try this!
Khorhog is prepared by chopping the mutton and placing it in a steel container together with hot stones and place it on the fire for a few hours and not many vegetables survive the heat. Khorkhog was mainly eaten in military campaigns in the early centuries when they hunt for deer and gazelle. Boodog and khorhog are cooked without the need for heavy pots and required utensils since the animal’s skin or stomach being used. When eating both, it’s customary to pass the hot stones from hands to hands because it’s good for health.
Borts or dried meat is the Mongolian nomadic way of keeping raw meat unspoiled as it’s cut into long stripes hang down in the air by the shade. It is powdered when use and great ingredient for soup with noodles or rice. Just in a moment, the very nice and tasty broth would be ready on your hand.
Buuz, Khuushuur, Banshi
Buuz is steamed dumplings filled with beef or mutton with little of chopped garlic and onions and covered by flour. Smaller boiled dumplings are called banshi, mostly cooked in soup with vegetables and even in salty milk tea. Khuushuur is very similar to buuz and banshi with the same ingredients but it’s like a pancake, flat, crispy and fried in vegetable oil. When you are traveling in Mongolia, you find these three almost in every guanz (canteen) and some modern traditional restaurants.
Milk tea - it’s made of tea herb and milk from cow or sheep with a little salt and sometimes rice. When one visits Ger, the one will be welcomed by milk tea. Some regions drink without salt. Milk tea with rice or flour is almost like breakfast for foreigners that it contains enough calories.