'Velvet-red meat patterned with seams of fat like the finest Dali marble. Time has done its work.'Zhang Mei has always cherished the ham from her native province of Yunnan, China. Growing up in Dali on the banks of the Xi'er River, Mei relished the morsels of ham her father would toss into a dish of spicy green peppers and onions. Over time she learned that the true magic of Yunnan ham lies not just in its salty-sweet taste, produced by an intricate curing process, but also in its ability to bring people together and carry on a time-honoured way of life. Now a successful entrepreneur, Mei returns to her childhood home, finds a leg of ham and travels with it through the cultural and culinary cradle of Dali. Her edible companion becomes a calling card that takes her into the history and traditions of the region and unveils the unique stories and recipes of those who call it home.
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