It's a mystery how Mongolian barbecue became a fixture in U.S. food courts and strip malls. Nothing like it is anywhere to be found in the Mongolian countryside, where fermented mare's milk, salty goat-milk tea and marmot meat dominate local fare. After the marmots think big squirrels are killed and gutted, they're roasted from the outside, while at the same time slow-cooked from the inside using fiery-hot stones. The flavor's a little gamey, but taking in this steppe snack with the endless prairie surrounding you, you'll probably forget the aftertaste.
By Ling Woo Liu