Last Updated May 2018
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Page 1: The Pekin Duck: The Most Popular Duck Breed
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Maple Leaf Farms Duck:
CAPSULE REPORT: Maple Leaf Farms sells a variety of succulent Pekin duck products, some of which are pre-cooked and ready to eat in just two minutes! It’s some of the best pre-cooked duck we’ve ever tasted; the raw duck breasts we cooked from scratch were also superb. But we love being able to have duck more often, just heating and eating without the heavy aromatics of roasting duck from scratch. This is Page 1 of a four-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.
Maple Leaf Farms pre-cooked confit de canard (confit of duck), shown here on a mesclun salad with sautéed peaches, olives and candied walnuts. A feast!
|History Of The Pekin Duck:
The Pekin* duck, a domesticated duck that originated in China, is the most popular commercial duck breed—it comprises about 95% of U.S. duck consumption (nearly 26 million ducks were eaten in the U.S. in 2004, according to the USDA).
*Don’t confuse Pekin duck, a breed of duck, with Peking Duck, a particular dish that can be made with a Pekin duck or other breed. It consists of the roasted, lacquered duck skin and meat rolled in thin pancakes with scallions and hoisin sauce.
What is the provenance of most of these 26 million ducks? In 1873, nine Pekin ducks were brought to Long Island, New York from China (“Long Island Duckling” indicates a Pekin). All domestically grown Pekin ducks are descended from those original nine. What you find in grocery stores and on restaurant menus, unless otherwise indicated, are Pekins.
The Pekin produces more meat than other duck breeds. The meat is mild and tender, and lends itself to different methods of preparation, which explains why this is such a popular commercial breed.
A Pekin duck. Photo courtesy of Marin Winter and Wikipedia. It is believed that Donald Duck was modeled after a Pekin, as is the AFLAC mascot.