Price: RRP $50.00

Travels Through Dali: With a Leg of Ham


Published: 2016-10-17

ISBN: 9780734399427

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Penguin china


‘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.

Zhang Mei is the founder of Wild China. She grew up in the mountains of Dali, Yunnan, and later moved to the United States to complete her graduate studies at Harvard Business School in 1996. After a stint in management consulting at McKinsey & Company, she established Wild China in 2000, which was named ‘The world’s best adventure travel operator in China’ by National Geographic Adventure. Mei has been a Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist several years running and was recognised in The Daily Beast’s 2012 list of Women in the World for her commitment to sustainable travel. She currently lives in Beijing with her husband and three children.

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