This Saturday: Real Mongolian food and fundraiser

Our first guest post comes from a fellow traveler of the world's foodways, Charles Bibilos. Like Jesse and Laura, I’m thoroughly obsessed with international food, and write a blog called United Nations of Food, which documents my quest to eat meals from every country in the world, without leaving NYC.  I’ve eaten food from 115 countries over the past two years, but my attempt to eat genuine Mongolian food has turned into an accidental fundraising adventure.

I would love to pretend that I’m as consistently well-intentioned as the United Noshes team, but the honest truth is that I was selfishly searching for a Mongolian meal when I ran across the story of Urangoo, a 13-year-old Mongolian contortionist whose father was killed in a Mongolian mine (for a longer version of Urangoo's story, visit  As soon as I read about Urangoo, I thought it would be fun to use our gluttony as a way of helping Urangoo’s family, and a few of us—including an American journalist and a Mongolian scholar—decided to host a food-friendly fundraiser at Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village at 1:00 on Saturday, May 12.

Since you’re reading one of NYC's finest international food blogs, you might be wondering: what the eff is Mongolian food?  It isn’t “Mongolian BBQ”—that stuff was invented by a Taiwanese marketing genius in the 1970s, and has nothing to do with Mongolia.  Real Monoglian food is far more interesting, and much milkier:  homemade Mongolian cheese (made by our Mongolian co-host), a dessert called khailmag (“caramelized clotted cream”), lamb dumplings, Mongolian meat tea (yes, you read that correctly), deep-fried Mongolian butter cookies, and… drum roll please… fermented mare’s milk!  (Full disclosure:  we’ll be serving a modified version of the mare’s milk, made from fermented cow’s milk. Sorry, we couldn’t find a milkable mare in NYC.)  We’ll also have a cooking demonstration by a renowned Mongolian dumpling-maker, a live auction of Mongolian calligraphy and leather art, and a performance by a Mongolian throat singer.

Suggested donation for the event is $35, and full details can be found at  If you have questions, you’re more than welcome to email me at  And even if you can’t make it to the event, send me an email if you’re interested in Mongolian food, and I’ll do my best to save a few sips of meat tea and fermented milk for you.