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The Food of the Nomads
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Byaslag - Бяслаг

Cheese from milk of cattle, yaks, goats, or sheep.

Most commonly, the milk of yak and cattle is used. Goats and sheep are not milked in all places, but make for the most aromatic cheese. However, mongolian cheese doesn't get to ripen like its european counterparts, so the overall taste is somewhat bland in comparison.

Byaslag in a carton


Boil the milk, and add a small amount of kefir (instead of rennet). After the milk has curdled, lift out the solid components with a large cloth. Let most of the remaining liquid drip off, and press the mass between some wooden boards with a weight. The resulting "wheels" of cheese will have a round or approximately square shape of about 25 cm diameter and 5 cm height.

In a nomadic household, it is not possible to let the cheese ripen as it is done in the european tradition (storing, turning, salting, etc.). Instead, you can cut it into slices and dry them for better preservation.


Fresh slices of cheeses are eaten as a snack. Dried cheese is rather hard, and often gets soaked in tea. Pieces of cheese may also be given into a soup.