Foreign people think Mongolian food is highly dependent on meat and diet, It's not wrong, but it's not right. Residing almost a half of the population in Ulaanbaatar city, the lifestyle in the city and countryside differ in extreme. We lack knowledge what is edible and healthy from modern food trends and neither have no idea why the native culinary traditions are important. To remind aback, we introduce the Mongolian food traditions.
FIVE KINDS OF FOOD
White- diary products
Red- Meat products
Green - Plants and vegetable
Yellow - Butter and oil
Black - Water and distilled milk vodka
A seed of wheat is vital for feeding the blood! A pinch of soil is vital for living in homeland! (From folk traditional proverbs)
Green food or plant was one of the main ingredients of Mongolian traditional food, which is as important as red food or meat. Despite Mongolia has extreme continental climate with four seasons, it's home to hundreds of kinds of fruits and plants, which Mongolians used in their daily life from ancient times. The green food of the Mongols can be divided into two classes of wild and planted, or according to the quality, into classes of food, fruit and seasoning, or simply native Mongolian and foreign.
Herding the livestock and moving from pasture to another, Mongolians lived so close to the nature. In their food ingredients there were hundreds of kinds of wheat, plants, fruits, vegetables, mushroom, nuts; hundreds of fruits of strawberry, red berry, blueberry, cranberry, barberry, hawthorn, apricot, bird-cherry and sweetbrier, vegetables of onion, shallot, wild leek and wild garlic etc.
The native Mongolian green food includes fruits, mushrooms, nuts and plants of wheat, barley, millet and others. During the Great Mongol Empire, foreign products like tea, pepper, nutmeg and also vegetables of garlic and cabbage entered the food recipe of the Mongols and even regional trade network was built. In 19-20,h century, the plantation of wheat, vegetables and fruits were wide spread in Mongolia and other kinds of vegetable, fruit and products entered Mongolian market through importation.
In this issue, we introduce the native seed plants of wheat, barley, Suli /Timrouria Villosa RochevJ and Tsulkhir lAgriophullum vungens Vahel.