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Mammoth Steak, Mongolian Road Trip Food, and More Long Reads

Worthy weekend reading material

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

It's that time of year again — to exacerbate the alleged harm of something fairly benign, and compare something from another era to a contemporary vice that's actually far worse. Fortunately, both are superbly entertaining, so hyperbole is trumped by style. A butcher makes house visits in Montana, slaughtering cattle under cloudless skies, while Australian parents teach their young ones to leave their culinary comfort zones. Did the legendary Explorer's Club really eat an extinct animal? Let's dissect that (again). One chef tailgates so hard he's known nationally by fans and players alike. We close out this week's list with some all-too-plausible start up ideas — seed funding, anybody?

20,000 Miles Till Lunch: To Inner Mongolia in an RV

Serious Eats

We roll on eastward across the grasslands, skirting the border between China's Inner Mongolia and Mongolia proper, conquering lunch as we go. The girls are no longer asking about Western food; even they can now see there's no such thing to be had. We eat plenty of "red food"—hearty mutton noodle soups, steamed buuz dumplings filled with mutton, and boiled mutton. We also eat a little "white food"—fresh Mongolian yak milk, tart Mongolian yogurt, and kefir. The food is filling and rustic, with few embellishments other than a pinch of salt and occasionally a touch of cumin.

The Sad Truth About Seltzer

The Atlantic

They mean "addicted" in the jokey, dark-chocolate-and-Netflix-streaming way, but the habit can border on pathological. For me, rock bottom was a recent, obscenely long workday during which an entire 12-pack of coconut La Croix somehow made it down my throat, can by shining can.

How Gin Became The Meth of 18th Century England

The Daily Beast

While its production didn't involve exploding RVs in cornfields or mass Sudafed heists, gin wreaked significant havoc on society, with just about every Londoner either making the spirit or consuming vast quantities of it. Its critics blamed it for a range of societal maladies, including crime, lawlessness and, of course, blind intoxication.

Death in Big Sky Country

Roads and Kingdoms

In 2009, Tizer Meats bought a used frozen-pizza delivery truck and turned it into a butcher's shop on wheels. Elvbakken installed a power inverter, water pump, and insulated 250-gallon water tank, and added a winch with two lines to the back for hoisting carcasses from the ground. The meat from five beef cattle or 15 sheep and hogs can hang neatly in the back of the truck. With that finished, he had his own slaughterhouse on wheels.

Prehistoric Mystery Meat: It's What's for Dinner

The Atlantic

The meat was gone in a flash: The priest had apparently only sent enough for every guest to try a small sliver. But one slice, as Howes had requested, was carefully slipped into the preserving bottle that he had mailed to the hotel. From there, it was sent back to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, and displayed in the mammal room.

Why I Tailgate, by Professional Tailgater Michael Mina


It was pretty intense. We always had a few burners, and we'd do a boil. Then we would have a big charcoal grill, a wood grill, and a rotisserie. Each chef would take a turn. You cook a course and pass it around, and then everybody eats. Then you cook another course. Then winemakers would start coming and bringing their wines. My wife started her epic bloody mary bar, now a big tradition.

Amazing New Food Start-Ups


How it works: A guy named Julian comes to your house and screams at you while you julienne vegetables. "Thinner!" he cries. "Thinner!" Perfect for amateur chefs who don't have the discipline to slice things precisely while alone, Julian Julienne brings people together. Mainly you and Julian. Him yelling, you chopping.