Peking Roast Duck

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Peking Roast Duck is famous the world over. Either Chinese people or visitors coming from foreign countries wish to taste this delicious dish. Roast Duck can be traced back to Song Dynasty (960 to 1279). According to legend, roast duck was named Peking Roast Duck for it was the favorite of Emperor Qianlong and Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty, whose capital was Beijing.

The dish is prized for its thin, crispy skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook. The meat is often eaten with pancakes, spring onions, and hoisin sauce or sweet bean sauce. As all parts of the duck are used in the cooking process, it is possible to eat a meal consisting entirely of Peking Roast Duck!

A traditional Peking Roast Duck comes from a species of white-feathered duck known as the Pekin Duck. The duck is fattened in a cage, allowing the meat to become tender. After 65 days, the duck is slaghtered and then roasted. There are two methods of roasting; the first is to roast the duck in a closed oven, with the heat from the inner walls cooking the duck. The second is in a half-closed oven, with the duck roasted over a fire. The distinctive shiny brown appearence of the roast duck comes form a maltose syrup, which is applied to the duck prior to roasting.

Many renowned celebrities once had Peking Roast Duck in China. For example, Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State of the United States, met Premier Zhou Enlai in the Great Hall of the People on July 10, during his first visit to China. After a round of inconclusive talks in the morning, the delegation was served Peking Duck for lunch, which became Kissinger’s favorite. It is said that the roast duck may have helped establish relations between the two countries during the Cold War! President Richard Nixon also had Peking Roast Duck when he visited China in 1972. Peking Duck, at the legendary Quanjude restaurant in particular, has united leaders from across the political spectrum in their love for this dish.

At present, many travel agencies put Peking Roast Duck in their tour itineraries so that the travelers have a chance to taste this delicious Beijing specialty. Why not take part in one of our Evening Tours and combine this delicious speciality with some unforgettable entertainment?

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