More ducks on the menu

Until relatively recently, duck wasn’t a popular meat in New Zealand. People often lacked confidence when cooking duck but consumer tastes and perceptions of this rich and delicious meat have changed. A small number of ducks are commercially reared by specialist producers.

Duck in depth

Commercially, NZ ducks are raised in barns for biosecurity reasons. This is so they avoid contact with other waterfowl which are significant carriers of avian diseases. The duck breed raised for consumption is the Pekin duck, which originated in China and are very popular worldwide. It is a white, walking duck and when fully mature, weighs between 3.6kgs – 5kgs. The birds grow rapidly and reach their adult weight at around seven to eight weeks. As with all New Zealand poultry, ducks are raised to a strict code of welfare.

Farm to Table

Duck is a rich meat and where once it was a ‘restaurant only’ dish, people are now more inclined to cook it at home. Food hygiene and preparation remains the same as for all poultry and if you are not sure how to cook a duck, take a minute or two with NZ chef Annabelle White who can help you with some tasty ideas.