Skip to comments.Restaurant's one millionth duck escapes a pressing (FRENCH CUISINE UPDATE)
Posted on 04/29/2003 4:31:57 PM PDT by MadIvan
Of all the delicious depravities of French cuisine, few have been as celebrated as the pressed duck served at La Tour d'Argent in Paris, which last night made its one millionth appearance.
Fireworks exploded over the Seine and 140 celebrities and gastronomes crowded into the restaurant to see the millionth duck waddle free, while his less fortunate confrères submitted to the dancing knives of "canardier" Jean-Pierre Marchand.
You can have your duck several ways at the Tour, but the most popular is "bloody duck".
Since 1890 the restaurant's canardiers have prepared the birds in the dining room overlooking Notre Dame and presented each diner with a card bearing the number of the duck.
It has been a wildly successful gimmick, helping the restaurant to international prominence.
Its guest book includes Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, the Emperor Hirohito, American presidents and Brazilian footballers, even the now vegetarian Sir Paul McCartney.
The ducks come from the marshes around Challans, near France's central Atlantic coast.
At six weeks, they are strangled rather than decapitated in order to retain all of their blood.
They are then plucked and eaten within 24 hours, as bacteria proliferate in a dead, blood-filled duck.
Once it reaches La Tour d'Argent, the duck is lightly roasted and its breast, leg and liver removed. The carcass is then put in a press to extract its blood and juice, which diners can watch trickle into a chafing dish.
This juice is then added to a sauce consisting of the chopped liver, Cognac and butter, which is poured over slices of breast.
This is then presented with "soufflees" potatoes. The legs are grilled and served separately with a salad.
Claude Terail, the 85-year-old proprietor of the restaurant, used last night's celebration to hand over the business to his 22-year-old son, Andre.
M Terail claims to have taken only five days off since he inherited the restaurant from his father in 1947.
La Tour d'Argent's festivities also mark the end of an era in Parisian cooking. The restaurant lost its third Michelin star in 1996 and has been losing favour with food critics ever since.
They accuse it of herding rich tourists through its doors and failing to live up to its reputation.
Give me Italian cooking over this nonsense any day.
The carcass is then put in a press to extract its blood and juice, which diners can watch trickle into a chafing dish.
Heck, that's more fun than the fireworks.
Attention Bambi and Duck lovers.
Read how barbaric the civilized French are when it comes to baby ducks only 6 weeks old.
Yes these evil and vile Frenchies stangle these baby duckies and then use terrible savage ways to serve their mangled bodies.
STOP THIS EVIL/VILE PRACTICE! CANCEL ALL VACATIONS TO FRANCE AND BOYCOTT THEIR PRODUCTS. SAVE THE BABY DUCKS!
THAT, Monsieur, is a canard.
My thanks. ;)
Agreed. It's horrible. I knew the French ate some pretty disgusting dishes, but this was shocking to me.
Beware the number of the duck.
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