I’ve had duck once before. Only once, but I’m pretty sure that could be put on the list with the rest of the most delicious things that I’ve ever eaten. Because I was new to it, I didn’t know at the time that the duck that I’d chowed down on was overdone. Yet, I kind of did know. I don’t know how to explain it, but though I’d never eaten duck before, and while the taste was great, it was a little tough. Regardless, it was still delightful; it was different, it was new, it was exciting. After all, merely months before I’d tried it, I was talking about eating it and how I couldn’t wait.
How does my little tale fit in with the rest of this, you ask?
Ever since I had duck that one time, I’ve wanted to have it again. Only… I haven’t. It’s never (until recently) occurred to me that I can make it. Sure, I could probably make it, but I was so concerned with it being new and different that I was afraid to mess it up. Finally, a chance arose where I was able to say “I’ll make it”, and was going to when I discovered that our grocer’s butcher doesn’t carry duck. I’m sorry, they DO but they’re rather extremist about it. Either you buy a whole duck (breast, leg, everything) or you buy these ridiculously tiny already marinated duck breasts. It was an inconvenience, but when I decided not to try my hand at it and make something else because I was still hesitant.
Slowly and surely however, I became more taken with the thought of cooking up duck for dinner one night. Maybe it was the itch to do something different, but I really wanted to make duck. In an earlier conversation with my mum about my wanting to make it, she had asked me why? Her reasoning against it was that it was “gamy” and “not even that great,” not to mention “fatty”. Clearly, mum and I have different culinary tastes, but I did heed a bit of the advice she had given me when I mentioned going to the local “butcher” around here: “Make sure they have it before you take the trip out there to get it.”
It’s a very good thing I listened to mum. Smart woman, she is. When I decided to look around for places that had duck, It was early afternoon and I was curled up on my bed still in pyjamas on the prowl. The first thing I did was give Arnold’s a call. The woman who answered the call was polite enough, but when I was inquiring after duck, I might have been asking for something rare and exotic. She answered me “duck?” as in, “what the hell is duck?” I confirmed that I was indeed looking to see if they carried duck and she told me to hold. How reassuring. When she came back on the line, she had regained her calm confidence and told me they did carry duck. Whole, and frozen.
Not wanting to give in to the eventuality of having to buy a whole duck, I took to the internet and began looking at websites for the other local grocery stores we have in this area. My first search, on ShopRite’s website was promising at first. Their website was definitely user friendly and it wasn’t long before I had found out that they do carry duck. Unfortunately, however, not in our local ShopRite.
My next search took place at Stop and Shop’s website. Their user interface was a bit more complicated than ShopRite’s, but eventually I located the search box and entered my query. Unlike ShopRite, they don’t even carry duck.
Always the optimist, I looked at Costco online. I don’t know what I was expecting, but they do carry duck. I was so thrilled to find this out that I immediately clicked on the link. The first thing that stuck out to me was their asking price: $124.99. Then, I realised this was because it’s for 6 breasts and 6 confit legs.
At this point, I wasn’t annoyed. I was more so disappointed that it was proving impossible to get duck breasts. Yes, it’s not the most common food, but I thought that someone might carry it. I’m pretty incorrigible, so just because I won’t be having it handed to me from across the counter wrapped in paper by the butcher, it doesn’t mean I’m giving up. I even told a friend that if I want it bad enough (and I do, believe me), then I’ll buy a whole duck and do it that way. I can always use the experience, right?
Until then, however, I’ll carry on as I am now. I’m going to keep looking. I’m not going to pay $124 dollars to have duck breasts (probably frozen) shipped to me. I don’t care how good it is. I’m going to search up and down for a butcher who carries the breast. Somebody has to have it.