Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

teal birds of the genus Anas, are a small kind of wild duck.

The European teal, A. crecca, breeds in parts of Britain and has had a high reputation as a delicacy. Venner (1628) declared it to be the most pleasant and wholesome of all waterfowl. It is in season during the winter. In France a distinction is made between the sarcelle d’été and the sarcelle d’hiver, the former being the resident population while the latter are visitors.

There are several species in N. America. The green-winged teal, A. carolinensis, is the best known; but some prefer the blue-winged teal, A. discors, which is slightly larger and which attracted special praise from the ornithologist Audubon. Other species occur in S. America (one of them being known as pampas duck in Argentina), Hawaii, and parts of Asia.