While out and about on Olympic Park, I visited Athlete's Village, home to more than 20,000 athletes from all over the world for their three weeks of competition... Below are some of the accomodations afforded them.
The most famous dish associated with Beijing is Peking Roast Duck. The origin of the Peking Duck dates back to the Ming Dynasty, about 600 years ago. Cooks from all over China travelled to the capital Beijing to cook for the Emperor. It was a prestigious occupation as only the best chefs could enter the palace kitchens. A top cook was even able to reach the rank of a minister! It was in these kitchens where dishes of exceptional quality such as the Peking Duck was first created and crafted to perfection by palace chefs. However, many of the recipes for such "foods of the Emperor" were later smuggled out of the kitchen and onto the streets of Beijing. With the eventual fall of the Ching dynasty in 1911, court chefs who left the Forbidden City set up restaurants around Beijing and brought the Peking Duck and other delicious dishes to the masses. The crisp skin of the duck is the most prized part. To achieve such crispness, the duck is air-dried, then coated with a mixture of syrup and soy sauce before roasting. When ready, it is presented ceremoniously and the skin deftly carved. These pieces are wrapped in thin pancakes with onions or leeks, cucumber, turnip and plum sauce. Some restaurants also serve up just about every part of the duck, from the webbed feet to the beak and liver. On request, the remainder of the duck meat can be sauteed with bean sprouts, and the bones made into a wonderful soup with cabbage.