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A taste of Baotou

Description:Baotou specialties are mainly represented by beef, mutton and a variety of noodles. Many featured restaurants and delicacies are found in Gangtie Street, which is dubbed "the first street beyond the Great Wall".

Located in the western part of Inner Mongolia autonomous region and adjacent to the Republic of Mongolia to its north and the Yellow River to its south, Baotou is the largest city in the autonomous region and an important transport hub.

Known as the “steel city in the grassland” and the “capital of rare earth,” Baotou boasts a variety of high-quality mineral resources. It contains many large storage facilities, making it an ideal place to harvest natural resources. 74 different minerals ranging from metals to rare earth have been found in Baotou, making it a world-level rare earth industrial cluster.

In addition to rich minerals, Baotou is also home to Mongolian food.

Baotou specialties are mainly represented by beef, mutton and a variety of noodles. Many featured restaurants and delicacies are found in Gangtie Street, which is dubbed “the first street beyond the Great Wall”. There are also some snack booths at the intersection of Huancheng Road and Nanmenwai Street, offering all kinds of snacks with favorable prices.

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Camel hooves are a special kind of delicacy in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and just as famous as China's legendary bear paws. [Photo/Weibo.com]

Camel hooves are a special kind of delicacy in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and just as famous as China's legendary bear paws. As early as the Han Dynasty (206 -220 BC), "camel hoof soup" was considered fit for royalty.

The vast desert and steppe areas of Mongolia are a natural home for camels, which are tall and muscular and both their humps and hooves can be used in cuisine.

The hump has long been regarded a real treasure, for smooth texture and rich taste, while the hoof is known for its effect on people's muscle and bones.

Cabbage is often served with braised camel hoof, which, with meat and vegetables, is undeniably the best tonic in autumn or winter.

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Kumiss is a traditional beverage of herdsmen in the Inner Mongolia region and across Asia, where it is drunk in summer, when the heavy fragrance can permeate the vast prairie. [Photo/Weibo.com]

Kumiss is a traditional beverage of herdsmen in the Inner Mongolia region and across Asia, where it is drunk in summer, when the heavy fragrance can permeate the vast prairie. Whether it's meeting with neighbors, celebrating a wedding or festival, or just having fun with friends, kumiss is just the thing People can hardly avoid being intoxicated by it.

Herdsmen on the prairie have drunk kumiss for generations and there are many customs related to it. There are accounts of Emperor Kublai Khan of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) using it to reward an official as he got drunk at a royal banquet. So, herdsmen use it to show their respect and hospitality.

Kumiss is a cool, refreshing drink, only about 1.5 - 3 percent alcohol, so it does not hurt the spleen or stomach, and is considered good for general health and blood circulation and the kidneys, and for relieving muscle tension.

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Ghee is essence kind of liquid butter, with important nutrients, and was only used in the past for honored guests or important festivals in the Inner Mongolia region. [Photo/Weibo.com]

Ghee is essence kind of liquid butter, with important nutrients, and was only used in the past for honored guests or important festivals in the Inner Mongolia region. It was referred to as "tihu" in ancient times, meaning "fine butter". During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) it was one of the "eight northern dainties" and a treasured delicacy.

The production method demands a lot: first, filtering fresh milk through gauze several times, then fermenting it so that it resembles yogurt. Two pots of fresh milk are then boiled and mixed with the yogurt in a large container, with a large stick used to stir the mixture until the cream comes to the top.

The cream is transferred to another pot and water is poured into the cream to produce a milky mixture, which is then squeezed to remove the water. It can be put in cold water to harden. When the cream is separated from the milky mixture, the ghee is ready.

It takes about 50 kilos of milk to produce only two or three kilos of ghee. People often keep the ghee in a tightly sealed kitchen container or in clean goat intestine. If they need to store it a long time, it is best to keep it in a freezer.

The ghee can be spread it on hot steamed buns, put in milk tea, or served with western style food. Its unique taste is impressive.

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For herdsmen, boiled lamb is a plain, traditional meal, one that has endured for a thousand years. [Photo/Weibo.com]

Boiled lamb is what Mongolians call "red food", or "meat" that is meant to be eaten with the hands. For herdsmen, boiled lamb is a plain, traditional meal, one that has endured for a thousand years.

To make it, the mutton is removed from the bone and put into a pot of boiling water, without sauce or salt. To eat it, you grasp the bone with one hand and cut the meat with the other, then dip the mutton into whatever seasoning is offered. Herdsmen usually have this dish for dinner.

Editor:Wang Jingxia
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