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Traditional food of Mongolian nomads
Red and white months
The diet in Mongolia is essentially based on animal products: meat, considered as "red food", and dairy products, "white food". These are not eaten at the same period of the year.
Summer months are the "White" ones, dedicated to dairy products. Indeed, it is the high season for births, and all the females are in period of lactation.
Cheese, butter, fermented mare milk, yoghurts are then the basis of the traditional nomadic diet.
This also corresponds to lower calorie needs in relation to the more clement temperatures.
On the contrary, winter months are "Red Months", dedicated to the consumption of meat.
This kind of food supplies to all the necessary calories to bear the extremely cold weather during winter in the steppes of Mongolia.
The meat is generally boiled, sometimes frozen (the outside of the yurt is a huge freezer during 6 months!).
Specialties from Mongolia
These steam ravioli stuffed by meat, which look like Tibetan "momos", are consumed all year long, but they play an essential role during the period of Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian lunar New Year.
Made with the same dough as the buuz, and also stuffed by meat, they are bigger and of flat shape.
The essential difference lies in the cooking, because they are fried instead of being steamed.
The tsuivan consists of pasta prepared with some vegetables, spices and strips of meat.
Drinks in Mongolia
You will be offered some tea mixed with milk and salt. You will soon get used to it, but you will also find "Lipton" tea in the yurt (ger) camps...
At the nomads, in summer, you will surely discover the national drink, the famous fermented mare milk (airag, called koumis in Central Asia).
It is considered as very good for the health: one more reason for you to experiment it!
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