Over the years, Mongolian nomads have developed a number of unique dairy products “white food” (tsagaan idee), which include different types of yoghurt (tarag, aarts), cottage cheesem (byaslag), dried curds(aarul ), and fermented mare’s milk (airag). Preferably, airag is is made in autumn after the animals have eaten their full of summer grasses. It may be further distilled to produce a mongolian vodka (shimiin arkhi) – best consumed when warm and fresh.
After a diet heavy on meat in winter, Mongolians have dairy products starting from late spring “to clean stomach” and dairy products are the main dish of Mongolians in summer. Summer is known as the “white season” and nomads work around the clock to process milk – turning it into cheese and variety of other dairy products to last them through the winter.
Out of this necessity Mongolians have found creative and ingenious ways to use the milk of all five livestock. Each of their milk quality and nourishment has been defined thoroughly in thousands of years experience and interestingly the way they use and process differ in each region, province and even family because of special weather, environment and traditions