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Kumiss and Stewed Meat Taken by Hands

Mongol people live in grassland for generations and they make a living of farming. Kumiss, stewed meat taken by hands and kabob are their favorite and dish for feasting.

KumissFermented milk always made of the fresh milk of horse, cow, sheep and camel, and kumiss usually takes a majority. Bumping-ferment is the traditional way of making kumiss. It is said that the bumping-ferment way was brought about while nomads were traveling or migrating in the early days. They usually fill fresh milk into leather bag in order to take with. Since the nomads ride horses to run fast across bumpy land all day, the milk in the bag was bumped and turned hot so that it fermented. Thus, the milk became a special kind of drinking that tasted sweet, sour and hot and has a hypnogenetic function. Therefore, people fished out a set of ways to make suckle drink, that is: to churn the fresh milk from time to time in a container, such as leather bag or bucket, with a special wooden stick. The milk would be heated up in the violate turbulence and it finally ferments and apart. Dreg sinks at the bottom while the pure whey floating on the surface. Thus, the smelling kumiss with a faint scent is done. Except this ferment way, there is also a way of distillation to make strong suckle drink, which is similar with the way of making wine. Generally, pure the barmy milk into a pot to heat up. While heating, cover the pot with a bucket that has no bottom or a tubular hood, which was made of purple wicker or elm branch. Place a basin or a pot of cold water for cooling above the bucket or the hood, in which a small jar is hanged. Besides, a slot that is similar with the mouth of a pot is usually made on the kettle side. After the milk is heated and evaporated up to the air, the vapor will cool down and congeal into drops, which will dripping into the little jar or flow through the slot of the kettle. Thus, kumiss is perfectly made. The alcohol percentage of the kumiss made by this way of distillation is a little higher than that of the kumiss made by ferment way. In case distil over and over again, the percentage of alcohol can be increased gradually. It is in summer or autumn that kumiss is brewed and serviced, as pasture is lush as well as herds are thriving. Containing relatively lower percentage of alcohol, kumiss often takes the form of translucent. It is said that "the color (of kumiss) is similar to white wine", and "it is like sweet dew to the taste and smelled as brewed sweet wine". Therefore, kumiss not only has Mellow, satiny, sweet and sour texture and sweet-smelling of milk, but also has a mild attribute, which efficacies are to dispel cold, stimulate the circulation of the blood as well as aid digestion. Kumiss was loved profoundly by Mongol people from ancient time and plays an important role in their daily life and in the feasting activities for guests and friends on festivals.

Horn wine cup"Stewed meat taken by hands" is a traditional way for Mongolian people to take meat. The way of making stewed meat is: first, disembowel a fleshy and dedicate sheep, peel off the skin and remove the internal organs as well as the head and ungues. Then, cut the whole sheep into several large pieces and put the meat into plain boiled water to stew for a while. While the water is boiling and the meat is thoroughly cooked, take the meat out and serve on the desk with placing it in big plates. Everyone takes the meat with a Mongolian knife to cut into smaller pieces. Therefore, the name was given for the reason that people eat it by hands rather than using chopsticks. It is the nomads' traditional way to show respect and love and esteem to guests that they propose a toast and offer stewed meat taken by hands as well. Setting foot on the grassland and stepping into yurt, you will be welcomed by the hospitality Mongol people by their traditional way. Silver bowl or golden cup filled with smelling wine will be hold on hada (a long piece of silk used as greeting gift among Tibetan and Mongolian nationalities) to present to you while appealing song is sung as their greetings to the guests from afar. They adopt such a way to show their sincere welcome. Meanwhile, guest should accept the wine and drink. In case of the guest do not drink,Propose a toasttaste a little is a must and then, one may return the bowl or cup to the host. Instead, if the guest decline and pull back to the host as not willing to take a drink, it is to be considered that the host is despised and not treated sincerely. Guest always hardly bear to apart and also is sentimentally attached to the days passed after they were warmly treated with the hosts' full enthusiasm.


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