Food & Drink

Aaruul is Mongolian's version of cheese. Wiki appetizingly calls it 'dried curds'

Aaruul is made from dairy and is a staple Mongolian snack

Mongolians really love meat and flour. This summer, while living with a Mongolian host family, I pretty much subsisted on those two things. Sheep and goat meat are the most common options in the summer and horse meat comes out in the winter. Cow meat is around but it’s not as readily available. Chicken and pork are only for the lucky ones whose aimag or town center sells it. I am one of those lucky few.

Dairy is a staple as well. Mongolians make so much out of cow, mare and goat’s milk that I have yet to learn all the products. I know for certain there is milk tea, airag (fermented mare’s milk), tarruk (yogurt), aruul (dried milk curds) and orem (a salty butter-like spread made from the foam of boiling milk).

The harsh Mongolian climate makes it hard to grow leafy greens, so farmers here usually grow potatoes, carrots, turnips and other root vegetables. My local market has cucumbers, green and red bell peppers and broccoli as well but they are probably imported from Russia or China.

Click below to read more about what I’ve written so far on the food:

What’s a Vegetable? [July 2015] – An overview of traditional Mongolian dishes as well as me lamenting the lack of vegetables in my diet during my PST host family stay.

To the Countryside! [July 2015] – What I did and ate during my 3-day trip to the Mongolian countryside.

Eating Well with What I’ve Got [November 2015] – At site and eating right (Dangit, that should have been my blog title!)

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