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Dec 29, 2009 11:52 AM

do the romans do duck?

i always hear about lamb (and intend to find some really great lamb in rome) but was wondering if duck is served? less interested in a rare duck breast than a well-roasted or 'confit' type duck. crispy skin.

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  1. I had duck at Armando al Pantheon "alle prugne" (with plums). It's still on the menu.

    2 Replies
    1. re: summerUWS2008

      its good. Have to say thats the only duck ive seen.

      1. re: jen kalb

        I had that dish too when I was in Rome for my honeymoon in Nov (still trying to get my trip report together). My husband and I really liked that dish.

    2. No, duck is not usual. Armando's is a house specialty, nothing to do with local tradition. A few years ago it was fashionable at the fancier places, and I'll never forget a duck I had at La Pergola, but don't expect to find duck.

      1. Well somebody must serve it, because you certainly see it in butcher shops. You'll often see duck ragu in Umbria.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ian_pink

          fwiw this old blog post mentions duck dishes at La Campana and Asincotto

          1. re: ian_pink

            The question was Rome. Duck ragù is common elsewhere. Duck is not common on Roman menus. Neither is chicken for that matter.

            1. re: mbfant

              Hm, I take your point, but: Here is a picture of a duck in a butcher shop across the street from my house in Trastevere. If Romans aren't "doing duck," who's doing 'em? Maybe the handful of ethnic restaurants? Are tourists doing them in their hotel rooms? Cuz they ain't doing themselves!

              1. re: ian_pink

                I live and eat in Rome and have encountered duck only in a couple of high end restaurants or in ethnic (Chinese) places. Duck is just not part of the traditional Roman cuisine and also, the duck you see in a butcher is definitely not going to a restaurant but to a private kitchen. I sometimes do buy and cook duck, too; but usually have to preorder it, otherwise there is no guarantee they will have it. Just yesterday I bought 6 legs to make confit, but I had to buy 3 whole ducks for that, as he wouldn't have any other customers for the rest of the animals. (Which was fine for me, I can use every part of it!). Also: the latest official numbers say that there 10% of the Roman population is immigrants, who might be, like me, the main customers for the duck.

          2. Redgirl, in addition to the other spots mentioned, you might try Il Convivio. They frequently serve duck dishes, either as smoked breast, tartar, or indeed as a ragù with pappardelle.

            My guess is that the duck alle prugne at Armando actually has its roots way back in a recipe for duck with plums found in Apicius, ( the ancient Roman cooking text from the 5th century, when duck was quite common.

            I've never had the duck at Armando. But everything else I've had there was good, and it won't break your bank like Il Convivio.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ian_pink

              your guess is probably right on since I believe Armando's duck is on a portion of the menu where they feature recipes of Apicius - yet another indication its not part of the current Roman cuisine. In doing some further searching I found an online recipe for anatra by the chef at Agata e Romeo, but couldnt access the online menu to see whether this is a regular menu item