Xuanwei Ham

Xuanwei ham (Chinese: 宣威火腿; pinyin: Xuānwēi huǒtuǐ) is a dry-cured ham in Qujing Prefecture of Yunnan province, China.Xuanwei ham has a 250-year history dating back to 1766. In 1909 it was first mass-produced and gained popularity. In 1915 Xuanwei ham won a Gold Medal at Panama International Fair. Xuanwei ham enjoys a high reputation both internationally and locally,[1] being a well-known variety of ham in China.

Xuanwei Ham is reputed as one of the three most famous types of hams in China, the other types being Jinhua Ham from Zhejiang and Rugao Ham from jiangsu. It is named after its producing place—Xuan­wei of Yunnan Province and is also called Yunnan Han Ham. A local pig called Wumeng Pig is selected as the material, and generally it is pre­served during the time from me first frost to the spring of the next year. It should experience half a year’ s natural fermenting after being pre­served. It features small bones, thin skins, rich flesh, tender meat, fragrant aroma, and beautiful color. Now, the packing and produc­tion skills have been greatly improved with varieties of packing. There is tinned ham and bagged ham with the material carefully chosen and the flavor well – preserved, thus enjoying greater popularity among con­sumers.


Xuanwei ham was first created and produced in 1909 by a business man in Yunnan China.

In 1911 they[who?] started canning the ham and it first shipped around the world in 1912.

In 1915 Xuanwei ham won a gold medal at the Panama International Fair. After that it was shipped all across the world and became an international sensation. The current production rate is at 10,000 tons.[4]

In 2001 its production center was moved by the PRC.


Mostly the pigs of the Wujin breed from the Xuanwei district are used to make Xuanwei ham because of the high body fat content and muscle quality.[5] During the processing of Xuanwei ham the green legs are salted three times before put in a ventilated chamber for 8–12 months.[5]


Certain molds have been found to alter the flavor of the ham, the most predominant were the members of the genera Penicilliumand Aspergillus, Eight species of Aspergillus were found including A. fumigates which account for more than one third of all Aspergillus, and four species of Penicillium were discovered.

Three main yeast genera were found, Saccharomyces, Schizosaccharomyces, and Hansenula.

List of Chinese hams

  • Anfu ham
  • Jinhua ham
  • Rugao ham