The nomads of Mongolia sustain their lives directly from the products of domesticated animals such as cattle, horses, camels, yaks, sheep, and goats, as well as game.
Meat is either cooked, used as an ingredient for soups and dumplings (buuz, khuushuur, bansh, manti), or dried for winter (borts). The Mongolian diet includes a large proportion of animal fat which is necessary for the Mongols to withstand the cold winters and their hard work. Winter temperatures are as low as −40 °C (−40 °F) and outdoor work requires sufficient energy reserves. Milk and cream are used to make a variety of beverages, as well as cheese and similar products.
The nomads on the countryside are self-supporting on principle. Travellers will find gers marked as guanz in regular intervals near the roadside, which operate as simple restaurants. In the ger, which is a portable dwelling structure (yurt is a Turkic word for a similar shelter, but the name is ger in Mongolian), Mongolians usually cook in a cast-iron or aluminum pot on a small stove, using wood or dry animal dung fuel (argal).