Mongolian Food Culture
The Mongolian food culture is rich and diverse. The Mongolian people’s eating habits are also very particular. When creating a rich and diverse food culture, corresponding food customs have also been formed. These customs are an important part of Mongolian culture and an important way for Mongolian people to express their thoughts and feelings.
The traditional Mongolian diet is divided into red food and white food. Foods made with milk as raw materials. Mongolian called “chagan yide”, which means holy and pure food, that is, “white food.” The food made from raw materials is called “Ulan Yide” in Mongolian, which means “red food”. This name for food is rich in color and vividness. When guests taste the food, they are accompanied by the Mongolian traditional etiquette of hospitality, which gives the Mongolian food style a strong ethnic characteristic and forms a unique Mongolian food culture.
White before red
“White” refers to white food, that is, all kinds of dairy products; “red” refers to red food, that is, all kinds of meat products.
White first and then red refers to a dietary custom of the Mongolian people when it comes to hospitality. The Mongolians regard white as a symbol of purity. Therefore, whenever banquets large and small, the Mongolians start with white food.
For example, before the start of the banquet, the head of the house will let guests taste a silver bowl of milk according to generation and age. For another example, when the Mongolians pay homage to the god Wengdagon, Obao and Sulide, they will sprinkle fresh milk on the heaven and the holy master.
After the celebrations and prayers are over, the milk pail is often waved with both hands to perform a blessing and auspicious ritual. For another example, when guests see the prepared lamb back, they will find butter on the head of the lamb, which means that when entertaining the guests, the lamb back is used as the top grade of the red food, but the white food should still be the guide.
The Mongolian people’s eating habits are also very particular.
Drinking is a major feature of Mongolian food culture. “It is better to have no food for a day than tea for a day.” The formation of this custom is related to the natural environment, production forms and dietary characteristics of the Mongolian nationality. Instant milk and meat foods are rich in nutrition. When drinking milk tea, soak milk food and handle meat, etc., to quench thirst and tolerate hunger. As a result, the habit of drinking tea in the morning and noon during the three meals a day has gradually formed.
In addition to tea, the Mongolian drink also has horse milk wine. According to the record of “Hei Ta Shilue”: “The colostrum of a horse is called its foal’s food on the day, and at night it gathers with tears and stores it in a skin bag. It tastes slightly sour and can be drunk at first.
The Mongolian people in the Yuan Dynasty regarded horse milk wine as the most important and best drink. Both the court of the Yuan Dynasty and the monarchs of Mongolia owned a group of people who made horse milk wine. In addition to self-drinking, the horse milk wine was also used in banquets, entertaining guests, rewarding subjects and sacrifices.
Mr. Meng Chibei also mentioned in “Grassland Culture and Human History”: “There is a traditional festival among the Mongolians-horse milk wine feast. Every August in the lunar calendar, almost every household on the grassland brews horse milk wine. Then congratulate each other and drink happily.” All these can show that horse milk wine occupies an important position in Mongolian life.
The Mongolian characteristics are mainly reflected in the Mongolian dishes and flavors. The Mongolian people’s diet is rough, with lamb, milk, wild vegetables and pasta as the main ingredients. The cooking method is relatively simple, with roasting the most famous.
The dishes advocate plumpness and solidity, and pay attention to the original flavor of the raw materials.
Roasted beef tendon: A delicacy cooked with beef tendon and green onions. The ingredients used in this dish are exquisite, white and transparent: the oil is clear and the bottom is bright, the mouth is soft, and it is rich in nutrients. It is often used in welcoming banquets.
Mare kumiss: When mare’s milk becomes light and transparent and tastes sour and spicy, it becomes mare kumiss.
Milk skin: pure flavor and rich nutrition. Ghee: Ghee has a unique taste and high nutritional value. It can be consumed in both Chinese and Western dishes.
Cheese: It is hard and sweet and sour. It is one of the Mongolian people’s favorite dairy foods. The Mongolian food culture is rich and diverse. When creating a rich and diverse food culture, corresponding food customs have also been formed. These customs are an important part of Mongolian culture and an important way for Mongolian people to express their thoughts and feelings.
Mongolian dietary customs have multiple functions of family, society, and religious beliefs. When the shepherd who has worked hard for a day braves the biting cold wind and returns to the yurt to sit around with his family and hold up the hot milk tea, he will feel the warmth of the family; the Mongolian festival marriage and eating customs maintain the relationship between people The social interactions of the Chinese people have become a bond connecting emotions and enhancing friendship; the beautiful congratulations and warm atmosphere on the whole sheep table constitute a vivid picture; the Mongolian diet has a function of faith. Since the Ming Dynasty, the Lamaism has made sacrifices to fire. At that time, Vulcan was also asked to share various Mongolian foods.
Since ancient times, the Mongolian nationality’s diet and the Han nationality’s dietary patterns have interacted and influenced each other. From the 10th century to the beginning of the 12th century, the Mongolian nation has formed a diet pattern and diet system with its own historical and cultural characteristics and economic and cultural traditions. Although its diet pattern is unique, it is also influenced by ethnic groups such as the Han and Manchus.
“Eight Zhenxian” is recorded in “Zhou Li Tiangong”. After tasting the eight treasures of Mongolia at the banquet, the famous poet Bai Jue of the Yuan Dynasty wrote a poem to praise: the eight treasures delicacy dragon wind, this is outside the dragon and phoenix, and the lychee is matched with Jiangyao, which praises the flavor.
Eating whole sheep is a traditional Mongolian custom, and the “quan sheep seat” is the crystallization of cultural exchanges between Mongolia and Han. It draws on the cooking skills of the Han nationality and pushes the Mongolian and Han food culture to the peak.
Two-fifths of the nearly 100 kinds of delicacies described in Hu Sihui’s “Drinking and Dining Zheng Yao” in the Yuan Dynasty are foods of nomads. Among them, camel soup, beef tendon, horse milk and other delicacies have long been Han, Manchu and other nationalities. Accepted.
The nomadic people’s technology of making yogurt milk has long been passed down to the Central Plains. “Han Shu·Li Yue Zhi” records Tongma wine, “Shuowen” says: “Han has Tongma officials, making horse wine.” Chinese tea culture has a long history, and the combination of milk and tea, “milk tea”, has been since ancient times. It is the favorite drink of Mongolian people.
“Mongolian Customs Record” records that the most valuable meal in Mongolian recipes is a feast of whole cows and whole sheep, which is collectively called a feast for horses by the Mongolians.
In the book “Mongolian Recipe”, the process of making a horse feast is recorded. When making a horse banquet, it is better to use the traditional Mongolian method of slaughtering sheep. The whole sheep is smashed with boiling water, the chest part is cut, the internal organs are removed, cleaned, marinated with salt and five-spice seasoning, and then the open part is sewn. , Steamed or grilled in a large sea pot with a lid or a special oven. Before going to the table, discard its horns, rectum, and four hooves. Place the whole sheep in a standing or horizontal position on a large wooden plate or a large copper plate, and then send it to the table with the head of the sheep facing the host and guest (usually the elderly).