Yiwu Ham

Since over 800 years ago, Yiwu ham has been well-known to and spoken very highly by the Emperor for its rich nutrition and aromatic flavor. 800 years later,

the tribute still remains its unique charm and is more delicate.

It is said that during the waning years of Northern Song Dynasty, the Nu Zhen nationality from the North held great invasion into central China and besieged

Kaifeng, the capital of Northern Song Dynasty. Zong Ze, a Yiwu resident led his team of soldiers coming from the Yiwu region and defeated the Jin troops. He

resumed the lost Kaifen and went to the new capital Nanjing to report his victory. During this journey, he also went back to his hometown Yiwu to see the

families of his soldiers and expressed his condolence to the dependents of the martyrs.


Hearing that Zong was back from a successful battle against the Jin, the local people all came to visit him and cooked pork and wine for Zong to bring to the

soldiers. Seeing that plenty of pork, Zong felt very puzzled and said, “It is so far away from Kaifeng. How can I bring the fresh pork over there?” But at

the same time, he could not resist the people’s love on the soldiers. He thought of a good idea: he got several ships, added some salt onto the pork, put

the salted pork inside the cabin and shipped them back to Kaifeng.


The soldiers heard that Zong was back to Kaifeng from their hometown and all came to him to ask for the situation of their families. Zong said to them

gladly: “Our people back home are very well and they wish that you could safeguard our country and fight back the Jin troops. They have asked me to bring

you delicious food also!” Zong asked his man to open the cabin and the salted pork spread very attractive smell. The cooked pork was very delicious and

inspired the soldiers to be more courageous in fighting against the enemy.


Several days later, the Emperor came to Kaifeng to see Zong and his soldiers. Zong had the pork from home cooked into various dishes for the Emperor. The

Emperor saw bowls of stuff that were red in color and tasted them, they were very delicious. He asked Zong: “What is this? So nice looking and delicious?”

Zong told him, “Well, this is leg of pork from my hometown Yiwu!” At that time, Yiwu was under the administration of Jinhua, so the Emperor said: “Very

good Jinhua leg of pork, red and yummy! Let’s call it “Jinhua ham”!” The name Jinhua Ham had been since then spread to the world.


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