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Likely, Peking Duck is China’s most famous dish. It has been prepared in China since the Imperial Era (when Beijing was still known as Peking). This dish is considered to have started in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), when it was featured on imperial court menus. Palace chefs, who were prestigious masters of their craft, perfected it and served it with plum sauce, scallions and cucumbers. Recipes of the emperor’s cuisine were smuggled out into the streets and it later gained popularity with the upper classes of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Following the fall of the last imperial dynasty, Forbidden City chefs started their own restaurants.
There are restaurants specializing in Peking Duck found throughout the city. Some restaurants follow a tradition to have servers carve the duck at your table after it’s roasted either in a brick oven or over an open fire. Thinly sliced, juicy morsels with crispy skin are then rolled into crepe pancakes and served with plum sauce, scallions and cucumbers. While it is possible to have this dish served elsewhere in the world, somehow the authentic experience of eating this in a city that holds name and claim to the dish is an opportunity not to be missed! So, your family may wish to include this on your itinerary the next time you are in Beijing!
Sources: Journeyman Traveler, Wikipedia