Restaurant Features the History of Peking Duck in Its Museum

December 10, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. museum /myuˈzi əm/ (n.) – a building that exhibits or displays artistic, historical, scientific, or cultural items
Example: We went to the national museum to see the bones of the newly discovered dinosaur.

2. prominent /ˈprɒm ə nənt/ (adj.) – well-known and important
ExampleProminent people like Angelina Jolie are always in the news.

3. cuisine /kwɪˈzin/ (n.) – a style of cooking and preparation of food as defined by a culture
Example: The Chinese cuisine includes staple food such as rice, vegetables, sauces, and seasonings.

4. diplomat /ˈdɪp ləˌmæt/ (n.) – a person appointed by a governing body for political relations
Example: The president and the British diplomat shook hands as a sign of good international affairs.

5. heritage /ˈhɛr ɪ tɪdʒ/ (n.) – beliefs, traditions, and important events that are part of a group or a nation’s history
Example: Asian heritage is rich with several heroic events from the past.


Read the text below.
Quanjude [CHEN-ju-duh] restaurant marked its 150th anniversary by featuring in its newly-opened museum the history of the Peking [PEE-KING] duck.

The duck’s route to its popularity was represented by the statues of roasters, displayed photos of dining prominent people, and old menus that trace back for one hundred years. Around twenty models detailed the duck’s dish evolution but none of them revealed any secret ingredients.

According to a museum panel, the duck is cooked for fifty minutes, resulting in a plump duck with jujube [JOO-joob] red color, full of oily luster with a crisp skin.

Fuchsia [FYOO-shuh] Dunlop, a writer for Chinese cuisine, labeled Peking duck as a modern innovation. She recalled how Quanjude started out by employing chefs from the imperial kitchens to roast ducks. They used to cook Peking duck by hanging it inside a clay oven with fruit wood fire.

Once the duck was cooked, the skilled chefs sliced it in precise sections, protecting their hands only by a thin glove. Dunlop also added that when the chef had done a good cut, the dish can be made into a hundred slices.

The restaurant owners believe that Peking duck has played a role in international Chinese relations by selling 196 million ducks. Famous names like Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, and Charlie Chaplin, along with other Chinese diplomats, had visited China and tasted the roasted duck.

Beijing is said to apply Chinese food in UNESCO’s list of global intangible cultural heritage. The list covers culinary items like the French haute [oht] cuisine and Japanese dietary traditions called washoku.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think the Peking duck business can help boost global awareness about China’s cultural heritage? Kindly discuss with your tutor.
·         What do you think is the best cuisine in your country that can be considered world class?

Discussion B

·         How can food bridge international relationships?
·         How can national tradition and culture be preserved through food?

December 10, 2014