914e15d8a7a8cde116e34be5ff91ea0e

Today we tell about the glorious and heroic heritage of the duke of Rouen!  No, wait…I read that wrong…this actually says the DUCK of Rouen. Well…an international success story is an international success story no matter the protagonist.

Rouenduck_beeton

Rouen ducks featured in Mrs.Beeton’s Book of Household Management in 1861.

French farmers are famous for their ancient breeds of livestock which have roots stretching back into the Middle Ages (and maybe beyond…all the way back to ancient Rome).   French breeds of cattle and horses—like the Charolaise, the Limousine, and the Percheron are universally known.  Similarly, there is an ancient tradition of poultry farming in France (to such an extent that the English word poultry originally comes from France).

5549433_orig

Rouen Hen

The Rouen duck is probably the most well-known French breed of duck. It is named after Rouen, the northern French town, however it seems like the birds are not necessarily from there, but have a pan-French heritage.  In France, the breed is known as Rouen Foncé (the dark Rouen) for its dark heavy colors.

rouen_m_600

Sadly the Rouen duck does not come off well on the internet.  They just look like mallard ducks.  However, in the real world, the difference is extremely evident.  They are twice the size with a pronounced “boat-like” body.  These ducks weigh 4–5.5 kilograms (9–12 pounds).  They are not renowned for their egg-laying but rather for their mass–which suggests that they were bred expressly to contribute very directly to the renowned arts of French cuisine.

WholeDuck_v1 copy