I love duck. I love that it takes skill and care to make it shine and I love the versatility that duck allows in preparations. The point for me is not the type of dish- it can be prosciutto, tacos, fried wings, or cassoulet and I will likely order it and probably love it as long as it is done, well, right.
I found an outstanding duck dish tonight at Bittersweet: the Duck Tasso. An appetizer, the Duck Tasso is a play on the Tasso ham, a Louisiana specialty made of pork shoulder. Traditionally, the pork cured in salt briefly then rubbed with a spice mixture that includes cayenne pepper and smokey paprika. The duck version at Bittersweet takes duck breast cured in salt then rubbed with a variety of spices that make it just slightly tingly hot on the tongue.
The dish is served with watermelon, firm and juicy and cut into razor-like straight slices, adding brightness and just a touch of juiciness to the cured duck meat. Cucumber gives it an edge of freshness and hazelnut powder provides the right crunchy texture. Cherries add a tart sweetness and micro greens serve as a tasty garnish. The combination is memorable – with great depth of salt in the cured duck meat and surprisingly complementary flavors and textures. I loved every bite and will soon go back for more.
The Duck Tasso is part of Bittersweet‘s summer menu.