Muscovy duck

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In Catalonia the Muscovy duck is also referred to as almescat, turc, morisc or Barbaria. It is a black duck, with white feathers on its wings, with thin skin and firm meat with little fat. The male's weight is double that of the female. Although the breed is originally from tropical America, since the 16th century it has been bred in the rural areas close to Vilafranca del Penedès. According to legend the peasants from the local area liked black ducks and those from Osona liked white ones. Since 1994, the Muskovy duck has the official designation of Producte Alimentari del Penedès. Whoever wishes to try them can go to the Fira del Gall which is held in Vilafranca in mid-December where they can also be bought. These ducks are bred for meat, which has an intense flavour and is very pleasant thanks to their diet which is basically comprised of cereals. They are usually bred in open spaces and are not reared for more than sixty days. With regard to how to prepare it, it can be as duck confit or roasted and the magret can be roasted or accompanied by a fruit sauce, although it is normally prepared with dried fruit or orange. Amongst the dishes in Catalan cuisine it is worth mentioning the Muskovy duck Empordà style with pears, the magret with a coulis of red forest fruit, and the roasted version with plums and pine nuts, with black turnip, with rolled cabbage or with mushrooms. For all of the above the recommended drink to accompany the dish is a young red wine.
Regions
Alt Penedès
Season
All year round