Turkey is a fowl the Chinese seldom eat. However, eating duck and chicken is common. Duck is even considered a delicacy. In fact, the Unvegan says, “No trip to Beijing is complete without eating some Peking Duck.”
Since I am a vegan, I didn’t eat Peking Duck, but I watched my wife eat it at Quan Ju De (Peking Duck) in Beijing.
The Virtual Tourist says, “It is thought that Beijing roast duck, like the tradition of roast turkey in America and the UK, owes its origin to the roast goose that is still popular in Europe on festive occasions.”
Most Americans do not celebrate the Chinese New Year (the Spring Festival) and most Chinese do not celebrate Thanksgiving. After all, Thanksgiving is an American holiday that Canadians celebrate too but on the second Monday in October.
Thanksgiving in Beijing with Peking Duck
China.org says, “From 2001 to 2005, China imported 486,000 tons of turkey, with all of the whole turkeys and 90 percent of Turkey parts coming from the US…. Currently, 70 to 80 percent of the consumers are Westerners.”
I’m assuming that Westerners eating turkey in China are there working, as tourists or are expatriates living in the Middle Kingdom and can’t do without turkey on Thanksgiving in October or November.
If you are from North America in China during Thanksgiving, you have a choice between Peking Duck, which is easy to find, and turkey.
Go China says, “Just head to your local international grocery store (Jenny Lu’s in Beijing, Cityshop in Shanghai) and stock up on all the fixings: frozen Butterball turkeys, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie makings. But you better do it fast, there tends to be a run on these items so if you’re shopping on the last Thursday in November, you’ll be out of luck.”
And maybe I should have posted this before Thanksgiving day.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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