There is a Chinese saying which, when translated, says that a visit to Beijing is only truly complete when one has had the pleasure of marvelling at the Great Wall and sinking your teeth into the lip-smacking Peking Duck. Today, we explore this delicacy’s long history in Chinese Culture.
Roast Duck has been served as a dish in China since the Yuang Dynasty. It was even mentioned in the “Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages” manual in 1330 by Hu Sihui, an inspector of the imperial kitchen. By the mid-20th century, the roast duck had become a national symbol of China, favoured by tourists and diplomats alike.
So deeply important to Chinese history and culture is roast duck that it is considered good luck to feast on it on the auspicious night of the Moon Festival. Apart from fulfilling a tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation over the centuries, roast duck is a mouth-watering delight. With a crisp, thin skin, it is flavoured with spices and salt and sometimes slathered with a thick garlic-tomato paste. It is then relished with scallions, cucumbers, and sweet bean sauce, with pancakes rolled around the fillings.
So, the next time you happen to be in China during the Moon Festival in particular, do not forget to sit down on a patch of lawn, gaze at the moon, enjoy this delectable dish, and soak up some beautiful Asian culture.
Be sure to try out our Peking duck recipe.
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