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The Food of White

The traditional diet of Mongol relay mainly on milk and meat while taking grain subsidiary. With the improvement of life condition, the structure of diet is also changed correspondingly--- the proportion of cereal food and vegetable was much increased. Milk, meat and cereal food shape a triangular balance of power in the pasturing area. Half-farming-and-half-pasturing area mainly relay on cereal food while meat and milk as subsidiary. However, in the pasturing area, meat and milk possess a much smaller proportion.

Milky food, which is called "Chagan Yide" in Mongol, has a meaning of "white food" in Chinese. It is usually made of the pure milk of horse, cow, sheep or camel. It has a great variety and very tasty while contain rich nutrition at the same time. Therefore, milky food is on the top grade of Mongolia food and was entitled as "having good qualities of hundreds kinds of food". It is indispensable for daily diet, feast for guests, as well as ancestor worship and divinity worship. The type of milky food and the ways of making varies as the area varied, but mostly are milk skin, cream, cheese and milky bean curd.

Milk skin, "Wu Rimo" in Mongol, is made of pure milk. The way of making it is: pure the fresh milk into a boiler and to boil with slow fire. Then, sprinkle with a scoop and meanwhile drop fresh milk into the boiler from time to time. It is not until the coagulation appears and floats on the surface that the fire can be turn off. Hours later, the alveolate milk skin will coagulate. Then, pick up the milk skin slowly with chopsticks to dry the water stained on it. Fold it into two and it can be offered as food after dried. Milk skin not only has a rich nutrition, but also possesses medical value as well. It is recorded In Drinking and Dieting Zhengyao written in Yuan Dynasty that " as the attribute of milk skin is cool and fresh, it is healthy for clearing lungs. Besides satisfying your thirsty and keeping you from cough., it also assists to darken and brighten your hair's color and has the efficacy to cure hematemesis as well."

Cream, can be cooked in various ways and has many different names. Usually, it is fermented from the fresh milk that kept in bucket, pot or other containers. Churn it continuously with a stick after it turned sour till milk and oil separates. Then, cast aside the white fat floating on the top, which is cream. It tastes savory if mix the cream with food, or stir-fry it with rice or noodle. If heat up the cream in a boiler and churn it slowly, yellow oil can be extracted which is butter. The deposit under the butter is ghee dregs. Butter is the essence of milk for it contains multi notorious substance, which is helpful to relieve your mind as well as rest to attain mental tranquility. Moreover, butter can also moisten the lungs and relax the muscles and joints, brighten your eyes and increase life span.

Cheese has another name as yoghourt. The process of making it is: pure fresh milk in a container, such as jar, pot or basin. After the gradual ferment and coagulation, the concretion separated from the whey is cheese. Another way of making cheese in Chifeng area is to heat up the fresh milk in a boiler; then sprinkle with a scoop and meanwhile take out the floating foam into another pot, which will become cheese after coagulation. Cheese can be either drank alone, or be taken while mixed with rice or other food. Tasty and delicious, it can also relieve summer heat as well as refresh oneself.

Milky bean curd, the way of making is: pure yoghourt that has already been extracted cream into a pot and boil it so that the contained moisture evaporated. After the milk freezes, place it into different kinds of moulds to shape into various milky bean curds. It can be offered after dried in the sun or shade. Besides, it can also be made in another way: cool down the yoghourt after heating up, and then put into a piece of coarse cloth to filter and extrude. Press into different shape of milky bean curd after concentration. Depend on the making process, milky bean curd tastes sweet or sour--- sweet if add sugar in whereas sour without putting sugar. The dried milky bean curd can be stored for a long time. It can be used together with stir-fried rice or tea-with-milk for daily life and be offered as solid food while outgoing for grazing or a long journey.


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