Roast Duck Dynasty

Beijingers love their roast duck. It’s a dish that’s synonymous with the capital and has been served since imperial times.

There’s even a museum dedicated to Peking roast duck (北京鸭子), which walks visitors through its origins and, more interestingly, shows step-by-step how the animal goes from the farm to your dinner plate. The museum is located on the seventh floor of Quanjude (全聚德), one of Beijing’s most popular roast duck restaurants.

First, we see the ducks sunning under radiant blue skies, enjoying their last moments of freedom.

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Now in captivity, the ducks are fed to fatten them up, so they can later return the favor and fatten you up.

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Stubborn ducks that skip meals will not be tolerated.

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Once they’re nice and plump, things get serious and out comes the knife.

Picture 024The guy on the left with the knife looks a little too happy for my comfort level.

Picture 014And of course, you can’t serve the duck if you don’t let it bleed out.

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Killing the duck and removing the blood is just the beginning. You still have to …

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Just a few more steps in the image below (from left to right).

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Last but not least, don’t forget the most important part.

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Look at those happy customers.

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If all goes well, the spread should look like this.

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