Anecdotes about Beijing Roast Duck

Updated: 2012-07-30 14:37


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Legend of Beijing Roast Duck

As it is known, Beijing Roast Duck developed its name during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, ordered the imperial kitchen to cook a dish of roast duck which tasted delicious but not greasy. The cooks spent a year trying more than 30 methods and using over 100 ingredients, but still couldn't satisfy the emperor's taste.

A eunuch recalled that his mother used to roast pork with fruit-tree wood and so he suggested that the cooks try roasting the duck with this method.

It turned out to be a success. The emperor loved the taste and he rewarded the cooks and the eunuch.

Though the capital was shifted from Nanjing to Beijing, the roast duck remained on the imperial menus. The method of using fruit-tree wood to roast duck finally became one of the two major methods employed in cooking the dish.


Beijing Roast Duck "opens" Sino-US relations

In 1971, Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State for the United States, paid his first visit to China.

He met then Premier Zhou Enlai in the Great Hall of the People on July 10.

The delegation was served Beijing Roast Duck for lunch and Kissinger thoroughly enjoyed the dish.

The Americans and Chinese issued a joint statement the following day, inviting President Richard Nixon to visit China in 1972.

Beijing Roast Duck was considered one of the factors behind the rapprochement of the United States to China in the 1970s.


Beijing Roast Duck on best foods list

CNN recently selected 50 of the most delicious foods from around the world and Beijing Roast Duck was ranked 5th on the list.

Here are the top 10 dishes:

1. Massaman curry, Thailand.

2. Neapolitan pizza, Italy.

3. Chocolate, Mexico.

4. Sushi, Japan.

5. Peking duck, China.

6. Hamburger, Germany.

7. Penang assam laksa, Malaysia

8. Tom yum goong, Thailand.

9. Ice cream, United States.

10. Chicken muamba, Gabon.


Formula One Schumacher favors Beijing Roast Duck

Formula One world champion driver, Michael Schumacher, said that his favorite Chinese food was the Beijing Roast Duck during a press conference on April 13, 2012.

When asked about his cooking skills and favorite foods, Schumacher said his favourite Chinese dish was the Beijing Roast Duck and that he often cooked at home and sometimes cooked for his team.

"It tastes good," he said.