Peking Duck: Imperial Taste in Toronto

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Peking duck is a lavish dish of roasted duck, originated from Beijing during the imperial time in the Yuan Dynasty and served only for the Emperor and the royal court. It eventually spread to the upper class households and into taste buds of the common people through the opening of commercial restaurants.

To make a perfect dish of Peking duck, the special breed of duck is raised in a free range environment so they render very little fat. They are slaughtered after 65 days and air is pumped under the skin to separate the skin from the fat. It will then hang for 24, having rubbed with various herbs to marinate, then into the oven to roast until turning brown.

The dish is usually served in 3 courses: the crispy skin part in served with hoisin sauce, shredded scallions, wheat-flour pancake; the remaining meat is stir-fried with vegetable, and the bones are made into soups with celery and cabbage.

One of the most famous Peking duck restaurants in Beijing is Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, or Sha Tin 18 if you happen to be in Hong Kong. In Toronto, you can visit QJD Peking Duck Restaurant -7095 Woodbine Ave, Markham, for an authentic taste of this dish. The dish starts at $99 or $118 and the presentation is superb.