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Cured meat

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腊肉 (làròu): cured meat

The embalmed body of Mao Zedong has been on display at his mausoleum in the center of Tiananmen Square since 1977, where people converge every morning to pay their respects to the communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China.

腊肉 (làròu), Chinese for “cured meat” or “bacon,” has been used by netizens to refer to the mummified remains of the chairman. Referring to the venerated former chairman's remains as a salt-cured meat product has been deemed disrespectful by China's censorship apparatus, and 毛腊肉 (Máo làròu) has become a sensitive word on the Chinese Internet at various times in the past.

On his Blocked on Weibo Tumblr, Sina Weibo watcher Jason Ng has translated a popular joke recipe for preparing “Mao bacon”:

A fierce boar from the Huguang province [the pre-Qing name for Hunan and Hubei, where Mao lived—ed]: First, empty the internal organs and wash with 7 kg of salt, 0.2 kg fine nitrate preservative, 0.4 kg pepper. For the deboned meat, use 2.5 kg salt 2.5, 0.2 kg fine nitrate, 5 kg of sugar, 3.7 kg of baijiu and soy sauce mixed, 3-4 kg of water. Optional ingredients that can be added prior include salt and crushed pepper, fennel, cinnamon and other spices; dry and flatten, seal up well and bathe in Chinese medicine for three days, until the surface fluffs up, that way the seasoning penetrates through the meat. Then disinfect it with alcohol and dry in the sun. [followed by various descriptions of how to eat/what it tastes like; a recent re-post of this recipe adds this line: “Because of the special preservation, you can store it for up to a year; I’ve heard that families can even preserve Mao bacon in a jar for 40 years,” the being a reference to Mao’s glass enclosure.]