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Duck, especially the canard gras, or fatted duck, is one of the glories of French cuisine. Three main breeds are raised domestically in France: the Nantes (or Challons) duck, the larger Barbary duck (nicknamed tête rouge or musqué) and the prized canard mulard, a cross between the Nantes and Barbary, sterile like a mule, docile and raised as a canard gras for foie gras etc.

A cane is a female duck; a caneton is a duckling, and a cannette is the duck that you buy to cook at home. The two latter terms are used interchangeably.

Some classic French duck dishes

Canard à la orange: duck roasted in a sauce made from caramelized sugar and vinegar (la gastrique), orange juice, orange zest and Grand Marnier.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Dimitris Iliopoulos, Creative Commons License, Les Lande, star5112, stu_spivack