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Taste of winter: Cured meat

en.nantong.gov.cn Updated: 2023-12-11

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Zhou Yousheng (R) checks the meat as its being cured. [Photo/WeChat account: hafbwx]

When winter arrives and the west wind is roaring, it is the best time to cure meat. The Zhou Family in Yazhou town, Hai'an, has made cured meat for more than 20 years.

Bathed under the warm sunshine in winter, cured meat hung on the rack features bright luster and mellow smell. Just the meat's red and white pattern is enough to make people's mouths water.

Twenty years ago, Zhou Yousheng started exploring curing meat and as time passed, he summarized his unique experience.


Cured meat is hung on the racks in the courtyard of Zhou Yousheng. [Photo/WeChat account: hafbwx]

Curing meat is particular about timing and it is generally necessary to see the weather forecast in advance as overcast and rainy days should be avoided to prevent the meat from going bad.

The meat that is being cured needs to be turned over every two to three days during the 18 to 25 days of production period to ensure it is fully air-dried and does not easily go off.

Cured pork is the most common cured meat and there are also sausages, cured spareribs, and cured ducks. Each winter, Zhou usually makes more than 10 metric tons of cured meat, which is sold to Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Xi'an, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.