Buuz is one of the most popular foods in Mongolia. They are a small, round steamed “dumpling” with a mutton or beef filling. Mongols make (and eat) zillions of them for their holidays. Just for fun we had a “buuz party” a couple of weeks ago. One of the guests, and the chief buuz maker, was a young Mongol woman, Ganaa, who I met when I advertised for a Mongolian language tutor before my 2006 trip. Her husband is an American who she met when he was teaching English over there in the Peace Corps a few years ago.
I told everyone at the party the Mongol joke that I posted here last week as we scarfed down many buuz and some delicious salads. Ganaa then told us a story about how a family is all sitting around a table eating buuz. There is only one left on the platter when, suddenly, the lights go out. After a short time, the lights come back on and the solitary buuz is gone. Everyone looks at everyone else. Who took the last buuz?
This has apparently been a running joke in Mongolia for many years.
Here’s a photo of the first buuz I ever saw.
I was in western Mongolia, on my way back from the Khomiin Tal tahki reintroduction site. We stopped in a soum center (county seat equivalent) for lunch at this little buuz stand. The ladies made them to order and they were delicious! They were also somewhat bemused by my desire to take a picture of something so utterly ordinary (to them, of course). This was the first real Mongolian food I had ever had.