My First Duck
Peking Duck is a delicacy that must be enjoyed in Beijing (remember it used to be called Peking). I also experienced other delicacies with my first duck that I can truly, and never to be repeated, take off my bucket list.
One of the best Peking Duck Restaurants in Beijing is named, Quanjude. It was established in 1864.
As a treat, we were graciously hosted in this restaurant. There was a group of 10, so they ordered two ducks. Each duck has a code and a number. Number One ate duck 150062 and I ate duck 150063. My question is, “Who ate duck number 1?”
Yup, we ate duck, and duck and duck! Peking Duck meat is very tender, juicy, and delicious. You put pieces of duck into a Chinese crepe/tortilla along with some veggies and some sweet sauce. Oh, it melted in my mouth. YUM, it was good!
However, the first course was a delicacy I have never dreamed of trying. I was given the honor of eating the first boiled duck foot.
Yes, the feet of the duck are eaten. Of course, our hosts wanted to give us their specialties as a treat. All eyes were on me, when they brought out the feet. Yes, it looks exactly like a webbed duck foot. For flavor, you dip the feet into a Dijon sauce. However it turned out to be horseradish–closer to wasabi. I picked up the feet by the ankles, dipped generously thinking it was mustard.
Deep breath,–of course–you know everyone is watching me–and plopped that foot into my mouth. I chewed. To be honest, the foot tasted like rubbery chicken cartilage, but the power of the horseradish, shot right through my nose into my sinuses. Who knows what happened then. It was so strong, that I felt I blacked out. They laughed, so I guess that is the usual non-Chinese response.
The next course was fried duck heart. I am still hoping it was fried. It looked very red and was sort of crunchy. I didn’t taste like much, I think my taste buds went on a hiatus after the horseradish.
I enjoyed the sweet, fried, duck skin, mainly because it was sweet. Yes, I checked to make sure there weren’t any feathers in it.
We didn’t stuff ourselves by any means at lunch, so by the time dinner time rolled around we were quite hungry. We were staying close to the downtown and shopping areas. One street is completely closed with all the high end boutiques flashing their neon signs and wares.
Old Town China
Surprisingly, we stumbled upon an alley filled with old shops, hole in the wall restaurants and snack vendors.
Our first opportunity for a snack was LIVE SCORPIONS on a stick! Yes, they were alive. Their little legs were moving. I don’t want to know how they were attached to the stick and still moving. There are certain things your mind protects you from, and that is one of them.
Dinner was at McDonald’s that night. At least it is filled with familiar ungodly things.