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Just eat it! Foodies guide to China

Had enough of Szechuan pork and fried dumplings, or those tough nuggets of protein with neon orange sauce and MSG-laden, greasy, gloopy stir-fries that the local Chinese serves to soak up your 15 pints of lager?

Then you’re ready for the real thing, and you’ll find it in the Yunnan province in South West China. Bordered by Laos, Vietnam, Burma and Tibet, Yunnan is a melting pot of culinary cultures and China's ultimate foodie region.

You mightn’t have to go the whole way and eat chicken’s feet, fried insects and dog - although I’m sure that’s on the menu if you really want it.

But how does peeled shredded eggplant in fiery chilli oil sound; or how about sautéed rhomboids of emerald greens (similar to cucumber) tossed with lotus blossom? – fresh, raw and absolutely delicious. And rice noodles, a speciality of Lijiang, with an eye-watering hidden heat all sound?

This is only a sampler of the myriad of dishes available in Yunnan. And best of all is you get to wash it all down with that Chinese speciality, asparagus beer which is damn tasty but don’t panic when your pee turns green – it’s all part of the process.

Tours of the region are available for a price from American tour operator China Road, check out www.chinaroads@comcast.net, otherwise make your own way down with Air China, and save a fortune once you’re there.

Oh, and if you order the soup, expect floating heads in it!

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