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A short-legged water bird with webbed feet and a flattened bill - a member of the anatidae family, which also includes geese and swans.

Wild ducks native to Britain include the mallard and teal; and they both make excellent eating.

Ducks were domesticated in Britain by the Celts, and slowly developed into the white domestic duck with which we are familiar.

The Aylesbury, was the most common British domestic duck, but most are now hybrids, and true Aylesbury"s are now rare.

Efforts have been made to increase the percentage of meat to bone, while reducing the fat content - this first resulted in the Gressingham and later with the larger Lunesdale; both of which have had the mallard strain reintroduced.

In France Rouen and Nantes ducks enjoy the highest esteem; while the Barbary is also popular.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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