The feast of roe meat and bud of wormwood
The traditional food of Oroqen is mainly the meat of beast and fish, in which the meat of roes is eaten most and the following is the meat of deer, elk, bear and boar.
Roe belongs to the vegetarian species of deer category. The meat tastes fresh and tender and is rich in nutrition. In the past, there were many roes in the forests of the Great and Small Xingan Mountains, so roes were always the target of hunting and the source of clothes for Oroqen people.
There are many ways for Oroqen to cook the roe meat such as baking, steaming, braising and swilling, in which the stewed meat taken by hands is the most common way. The meat half-cooked, even with some blood, is the best. In addition, the hunters also like eating the kidney and liver of roes. Every time they capture the roes, they will take out the kidney and liver on the spot and share to eat it. They believe that eating the raw kidney and liver is good for their eyes and health.
On the weddings, festivals or feasts to welcome guests, the Oroqen people often prepare a rich feast of roe meat, in which the dainty dishes are mainly cooked by employing roe meat. The roe meat feast on wedding is the daintiest. According to the convention of Oroqen, the bridegroom’s family and the bride’s family should prepare a roe meat feast each. A sainted father figure should be in charge of this roe meat feast on wedding and the roes should be a pair captured alive. The denuded fell should be singed on fire because it is said that let the smoke with the special scent of roes spread the whole village and let all the villagers share the happiness and joy of wedding.
In the past, the Oroqen people didn’t grow vegetables and the wild wormwood bud was their favorite and important dish. Now, though the dietary structure of Oroqen has changed a lot and the varieties of vegetables are abundant, people’s favor of wormwood bud is still unchanged.
The wormwood bud is a wilding that grows on the riverside and in the valley. The taste is fresh and fragrant. The wormwood bud has not only highly edible value but also special medicine value. It is useful for curing the cold, the fever, the stomachache, the hypertension and the diabetes. In every spring and summer, the Oroqen women with baskets on back will go out to collect wormwood buds. The wormwood buds can be cooked immediately and can also be insolated for preservation. The ways of cooking include: braised with meat, chop and fish; fried and dressed with sauce. If it is possible, please have a try.