The History of the Peking Duck

The Peking duck is a traditional Chinese dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. The dish is made by roasting a whole duck until the skin is crispy, and then serving it with thin pancakes, scallions, and a sweet bean sauce. The history of Peking duck can be traced back to imperial China, where it was considered a delicacy and reserved for special occasions.

Peking duck originated in the city of Beijing, which was known as Peking at the time. The dish was first mentioned in Chinese literature during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), where it was described as a dish that was enjoyed by the imperial court. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Peking duck became even more popular and was considered a delicacy that was reserved for the upper classes.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Peking duck began to be enjoyed by a wider audience. The dish was served in restaurants and became popular among both the wealthy and the common people. In the late 19th century, Peking duck was introduced to foreign diplomats and visitors to China, and it quickly gained popularity in the Western world.

The traditional method of preparing Peking duck involves marinating the duck in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and spices for several hours, and then hanging it to dry. The duck is then roasted in a closed oven at a high temperature for about an hour. The roasting process causes the fat to render out of the skin, leaving it crispy and flavorful.

The Peking duck is typically served with thin pancakes, scallions, and a sweet bean sauce. The meat is carved off the bone and is wrapped in a pancake with scallions and sauce. The crispy skin is also served as a separate dish.

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