Yiliang County of Kunming is the must-visit place on journey from Kunming downtown to the Stone Forest. It is the granary in central Yunnan given its large crops of rice. A favorite delicacy here is the succulent roast duck.
Yiliang roast duck differs significantly from Peking duck, and is prepared in the traditional manner. The duck carcass is at first scalded in boiling water quickly, inflated with air and the skin is then coated with honey. The anus must be plugged with a 5-cm-long reed stem to prevent the juices from leaking.
The honeyed duck is skewered through the neck and hung for two or three hours, and is then roasted over aromatic pine needles and charcoal in the oven which is unique to Yiliang County.
It takes about an hour to roast the duck which has to be evenly heated until the skin is evenly caramelized. There are two other delicacies travellers must sample when visiting the Stone Forest: one is Yiliang roast duck, the other one is the goat cheese of Shilin. And for the duck, there are two kinds of condiments to go with: sweet sauce and spiced salt. Fatty but not greasy, the duck tastes crispy.