In Southwest China, the highlight of a festive meal is a combination plate of cold cuts and vegetables paired with an aromatic dipping sauce. In Dai dialect, the local language used in Yunnan province, this duo is called sa, which means raw food, or a cold dish dressed with sauce.

To the foodies of Yunnan, sa is versatile enough that it knows no boundaries. Readily available local ingredients can be paired in countless ways in the hands of regional chefs. The flavors and aromas of spices and produce collide and conjugate into sa, a testament of Yunnan’s heritage of consuming raw meat since ancient times. That being said, this dietary custom has evolved over the years to suit the palettes of modern diners.

The second season of Flavorful Origins, another masterpiece by Chinese food documentary director Chen Xiaoqing, the creator of A Bite of China, premiered Monday on

The season, consisting of 10 episodes, will shine a spotlight on Southwest China’s Yunnan province, a region blessed with abundant sunlight, fresh produce and exotic spices.