We were lucky enough to be treated to this most scrumptious famous gourmet cuisine of Beijing at one of the most expensive, well respected and exclusing restaurants in this city on one of our first days here. We have been totally spoiled with endless, fit-for-a-king meals in this center of China as food is essential to Chinese culture.
In the same way the culinary specialty foie gras in France is made from a unique process, Peking duck also uses an ancient culinary technique that involves a particular type of duck, raised in a certain way.
The duck is roasted in an open oven ( that alone is fascinating to watch and I have video and photos coming on that), interestingly hung up along the sides inside, and using fruitword logs to add to the taste and fragrance. They pull them out with a long stick thing and hang them in a different area, then onto- the-table demonstration.
The chef cuts the duck for you at the table and the whole process has a beautiful, enticing presentation. The flavorful duck is served with warm Mandarin style pancakes, sliced cucumber, spring onion, radish and a delicious bean sauce made with sesame oil and peanuts.
The Chinese eat just the skin, but since we are foreigners they gave us some meat, as they know Americans expect that. They show you how to combine the ingredients and make a kind of "Chinese burrito" with your chopsticks dipping the duck into the bean sauce as you make it with a bit of radish, onion and cucumber enfolded in the thin pancake.
I'll write more on this topic, but the food has been so amazingly delectable here in China, I wanted to give you a "taste" through this sweet photo of the duck platter and decorations on the table.