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National Peking Duck Day!

Today we celebrate a famous dish of China, the Peking Duck.  This day is observed annually on January 18th.

Peking duck is a dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era.  The meat is characterized by its thin crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook.

The duck is bred specially for the dish and is slaughtered after 65 days and seasoned before roasting it.  Peking duck is considered a delicacy in China because of its elaborate preparation to achieve the intense flavor and tenderness of the meat.  The duck is served with sugar and garlic sauce as a dip.  I have not tried Peking duck and never will,  but according to people who did, the skin tastes better while remaining warm, but it will cool down fast.  They normally served it with steamed pancakes, spring onions, and sweet bean sauce, and served with a variety of vegetable aside from the cucumber sticks.

Duck has been roasted in China since the Southern and Northern Dynasties.  A variation of roast duck has been prepared for the Emperor of China in the Yuan Dynasty.  The first restaurant specializing in Peking Duck in Bianyifang which was established in the Xianyukou, close to Qianmen of Beijing in 1416.  By the mid-20th century, Peking Duck had become a national symbol of China, favored by tourists and diplomats alike.

So, today, celebrate this if you love Peking Duck or you have not tasted it, today is the day to be adventurous and try some Peking duck.  Share on social media if you tried it and what do you think about it using #PekingDuckDay.

1958 NHL is integrated

On January 18, 1958, hockey player Willie O’Ree of the Boston Bruins takes to the ice for a game against the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first black to play in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Born in 1935 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, O’Ree was the son of a civil engineer, in one of Fredericton’s only two black families. He began skating at the age of three and joined a nearby hockey league when he was only five. During five years playing with his older brother on teams in Fredericton, O’Ree became known as one of the best players in New Brunswick. After one season with the Quebec Frontenacs of the Quebec Junior Hockey League, he joined the Kitchener Canucks of the Ontario Hockey Association Junior “A” Hockey League, setting a career-high mark of 30 goals during the 1955-56 season. That year, a puck struck O’Ree in the right eye during a game, robbing him of 95 percent of the vision in that eye.

O’Ree managed to conceal the injury and continue his hockey career, joining the Quebec Aces of the prestigious Quebec Hockey League in 1956. During his second season with Quebec, the Boston Bruins of the NHL called up the 22-year-old O’Ree to replace an injured player. On January 18, 1958, the Bruins were playing the two-time Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens at Quebec’s Montreal Forum. O’Ree took to the ice as a forward with the Bruins’ third line, as the Bruins pulled off an upset 3-0 victory. He didn’t score or record a penalty, and the historic event took place amid little fanfare.

(excerpted from