The Chinese have been roasting ducks since the Northern and Southern dynasties (南北朝)(420–589 AD) at its capital in Jinling (金陵), today’s Nanjing (南京).
At first, barbecue forks (叉) were used to skewer the bird through its thighs and wings. It was then roasted over a naked flame, giving rise to its name叉烧鸭. In the Ming dynasty (明朝), the imperial court moved to Beijing and brought the technique along too. Peking Duck (北京烤鸭) was thus developed.
In the 19th century, hooks replaced forks to hang the birds above a fire in a brick oven (卦炉鸭) and the method was subsequently adapted by the Cantonese for roasting geese, suckling pigs, pork belly and ribs—each of which have become food icons of Guangdong province (广东省).
Canton Roast Duck（粤式明炉烤鸭）