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liuzhou

Chinese Hams

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It is possibly not well-known that China has some wonderful hams, up there with the best that Spain can offer. This lack of wide -knowledge, at least in the USA, is mainly down to regulations forbidding their importation. However, for travellers to China and those in  places with less restrictive policies, here are some of the best.

 

This article from the WSJ is a good introduction to one of the best - Xuanwei Ham 宣威火腿  (xuān wēi huǒ tuǐ) from Yunnan province.

This Ingredient Makes Everything Better

I can usually obtain Xuanwei ham here around the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, but I also have a good friend who lives in Yunnan who sends me regular supplies. The article compares it very favourably with jamon iberico, a sentiment with which I heartily agree.



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Xuanwei Ham

 

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Xuanwei Ham

 

more coming soon.

 

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Jinhua ham (金华火腿 jīn huá huǒ tuǐ) is a dry-cured ham from Zhejiang Province in eastern China, specifically from the town of Jinhua. It is made from the rear legs of a breed of pig native to China. Production starts in winter and takes up to 10 months. The traditional process is at least 1,000 years old, and consists of salting, soaking, and ageing the hams.

 

Traditionally, Jinhua ham is added to stews and braised dishes to deepen the flavour. It is also used extensively in stock making. It is also a key ingredient in the dish known as “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall”, a type of shark’s fin soup, a dish recently banned from official banquets by the Chinese communist party and falling from favour elsewhere.

 

However it can be used in many ways. I have used it with spinach in pancakes, in omelettes, on pizza, with noodles etc. But most often I just eat it straight from the pack. Delicious.

 

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Jinhua Ham

 

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Jinhua Ham Slices

 

 

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Fascinating... As you said, I had never heard of such high quality Chinese hams, though I really shouldn't be all that surprised.

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The third ham in the usually recited trilogy of "famous hams" is Rugao ham (如皋火腿 rú gāo huǒ tuǐ). It is the least well known of the three in China, even among the Chinese. Although I have eaten it in restaurants with great pleasure, I have never seen it on sale where I live.

 

It is made in Jiangsu Province and like Jinhua ham it's made from one particular breed of pig., in this case, Jiangquhai black skinned pigs.

 

Next time I'm in JIangsu, I'll pick some up! Don't hold your breath. Until then, no pictures.


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