In cooking and gastronomy, duck or duckling is the meat of several species of bird in the family Anatidae, found in both fresh and salt water. Duck is eaten in many cuisines around the world. It is a high-fat, high-protein meat rich in iron. Duckling nominally comes from a juvenile animal, but may be simply a menu name.
One species of freshwater duck, the mallard, has been domesticated and is a common livestock bird in a variety cultures. The Peking duck is another livestock breed of importance, particularly in North America. Magret refers specifically to the breast of a mulard or Muscovy (or Barbary) duck that has been force fed to produce foie gras.
Duck is particularly predominant in the Chinese cuisine—a popular dish is Peking duck, which is made from the Peking duck. Duck meat is commonly eaten with scallions, cucumbers and hoisin sauce wrapped in a small spring pancake made of flour and water or a soft, risen bun known as gua bao. In Cantonese cuisine, the roasted duck or siu aap (燒鴨) is produced by Siu mei BBQ shops; siu app is offered whole or in halves, and commonly as part of take-out with steamed white rice and vegetables. Siu app can also be served as part of the barbecue platter appetizer (the first of a ten-course Chinese banquet meal) in combination with char siu (roasted pork), soy sauce chicken, yu chu (roasted suckling pig) or siu yuk (roasted pig belly), and jellyfish).
Duck meat is also a part of Indian cuisine, especially important in Northeast India, such as in the Assamese cuisine. The old Assamese text, Kamarupa Yatra discusses duck meat, squab and tortoise meat. Popular dishes include duck with white gourd, duck with laixak and duck with bamboo shoot. Duck meat and squab are also cooked with banana blossom. It is popular among both the tribal and non-tribal populations.
The Pekin duck is also the most common duck meat consumed in the United States, and according to the USDA, nearly 26 million ducks were eaten in the U.S. in 2004. Because most commercially raised Pekins come from Long Island, New York, Pekins are also sometimes called "Long Island" ducks, despite being of Chinese origin. Some specialty breeds have become more popular in recent years, notably the Muscovy duck, and the mulard duck (a sterile hybrid of Pekins and Muscovies). Unlike most other domesticated ducks, Muscovy ducks are not descended from mallards.
Main article: Egg as food
Duck meat is very high in cholesterol and fat, particularly saturated fat. It is also very high in protein and iron.
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Duck is used in a variety of dishes around the world, most of which involve roasting for at least part of the cooking process to aid in crisping the skin. Some dishes use parts of the duck as an ingredient along with other ingredients. Notable duck dishes include:
Ducks caught in the wild may be contaminated from pollution of rivers and other bodies of water, because they eat fish and other aquatic life. In particular, PCBs may pose a health risk for those who eat wild duck frequently.