The indigenous population of the Irkutsk lands is the Buryats; they directly influenced the formation of modern culinary traditions of the city. In Irkutsk, even now, many dishes that indigenous people prepared hundreds of years ago are still popular. In the 17th century, Buryat cuisine underwent some changes, as Russians came to these lands. Russian Buryats borrowed many flour and vegetable dishes, which perfectly complemented their monotonous meat and milk diet.
Buryats lived in harsh conditions, and therefore their cuisine is also very simple and harsh. They appreciate natural food, and, of course have respect for food. Like many years ago, meat dishes are considered true national treats. In modern restaurants in Irkutsk, guests are offered a huge selection of meat treats, but before, indigenous people could enjoy a certain type of meat only in a certain season. In the summer, it was accepted to eat only the meat of a young lamb, autumn horse meat, in winter beef, and in spring the basis of nutrition was the meat of wild animals.
The most famous and most delicious dish of Buryat cuisine is bouzas. In appearance, they somehow resemble classic Russian dumplings, but the taste of the dish is completely different. The fact is that the bouzas are not boiled, but cooked for a couple of boiling fat in a large closed pan. Thus, inside the pouch of the dough an incredibly tasty and aromatic broth is formed. The name of the dish from Buryat is translated as "meat wrapped in dough". For mincemeat, pork and beef are used most often. It is interesting that the shape of this dish resembles a national Buryat dwelling - a yurt.