Five fun facts on the Peking Duck

A display outlining the history of the Peking Duck dish in the museum at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. The restaurant, the flagship of a chain with franchises as far away as Australia, is marking its 150th anniversary by opening a museum dedica
A display outlining the history of the Peking Duck dish in the museum at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. The restaurant, the flagship of a chain with franchises as far away as Australia, is marking its 150th anniversary by opening a museum dedicated to its history of producing the famous Peking Duck dish. -- PHOTO: AFP
A chef slicing Peking Duck for diners at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing in July. -- PHOTO: AFP
A chef slicing Peking Duck for diners at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing in July. -- PHOTO: AFP
Diners tucking in to Peking Duck at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing in July. -- PHOTO: AFP
Diners tucking in to Peking Duck at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing in July. -- PHOTO: AFP
Once cooked the bird is dissected at the table by a skilled chef, his hands usually protected from the heat only by a flimsy plastic glove as he reduces the carcass to precise sections of meat and slivers of crispy skin. -- PHOTO: AFP
Once cooked the bird is dissected at the table by a skilled chef, his hands usually protected from the heat only by a flimsy plastic glove as he reduces the carcass to precise sections of meat and slivers of crispy skin. -- PHOTO: AFP
Slaughtered when it weighs around three kilos, pumped full of air to separate skin from fat, the bird is gutted and filled with boiling water to help a sweet basting syrup penetrate the meat before being dried, coated and roasted. -- PHOTO: AFP
Slaughtered when it weighs around three kilos, pumped full of air to separate skin from fat, the bird is gutted and filled with boiling water to help a sweet basting syrup penetrate the meat before being dried, coated and roasted. -- PHOTO: AFP
A chef slicing Peking Duck for diners at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP
A chef slicing Peking Duck for diners at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP
A good chef can cut the duck into a hundred slices. -- PHOTO: AFP
A good chef can cut the duck into a hundred slices. -- PHOTO: AFP
A golden duck statue in the museum at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP
A golden duck statue in the museum at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP
Clay figures portraying the production of Peking Duck in the museum at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP
Clay figures portraying the production of Peking Duck in the museum at the Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP

Chinese cuisine is all around the world. Among the diverse dishes, Peking Duck is no doubt one of the most famous.

The Quanjude restaurant, known globally for its Peking Duck, is marking its 150th anniversary with the launch of a museum documenting everything you need to know about this iconic dish.

Here are five facts about the bird dish:

1) Peking Duck's southern roots

The name is a misnomer as the dish originated from Nanjing, where its recipe was crafted by the court kitchens. The dish 'moved' to Beijing together with a Ming dynasty emperor when he shifted the seat of power.

2) Many stages of preparation

The museum features 20 models showcasing each stage of the dish preparation. One stage shows the bird pumped full of air to separate the skin from the fat.

3) Performance art

Cutting up the crispy-skinned duck is a skill on its own. Some might even call it performance art, as the chef deftly slices the skin into neat pieces of the perfect size to each be eaten in one mouthful.

4) Famous people eat famous duck

According to the museum, US dignitaries such as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger tucked into Peking duck during their landmark visit to China in 1972.

5) Ducks galore

To date, Quanjude restaurant says it has sold 196 million ducks worldwide - and that's not a quack figure.