Fermented Milk Products from All Over the World. Khuruud (Mongolia)
Khuruud is a type of hard cheese prepared in Mongolia, which is made to last for a very long time without being stored in a fridge.
Most people in Mongolia are nomads and they are constantly on the move, as their guide their livestock to better pastures. Thus, when they settle, it isn’t for long, which led to the creation of foods that can be preserved well without needing special conditions and are sufficiently nutritious at the same time. Khuruud is one of those foods, a cheese that it is so hard that it can’t be eaten as it is and requires soaking in tea or water before being consumed.
In order to make khuruud, you need to prepare aarts, which is another kind of Mongolian fermented milk product. Aarts is practically curd extracted from milk. The process of making aarts is to bring yogurt to a boil and the draining it with the help of a cloth sack. The curd is furthermore drained by being squeezed and, finally, being wrapped in the cloth sack and left to drain with a large rock on top. This way, all the liquid is removed and aarts is obtained, which is a semi-solid type of cheese. Then aarts is transformed into khuruud by being separated in smaller portions, about the size of a slice of bread, which are left to dry out in the wind and sun, on the rooftops of Mongolian tents. It is collected only when it is extremely hard, as this means that it dried up to its core. In this form, khuruud can be stored for an unlimited period and used to be the food that soldiers took along in their campaigns. The best part about this cheese is that it can be easily activated with a cup of warm tea.