Dumpling Time Abroad
Dumplings (called Jiaozi in Chinese) are a staple food of China. Legend has it that they were invented one-thousand eight hundred years ago by a sage of Chinese medicine named Zhang Zhongjing. They are a perennial favorite of the Chinese people who eat them at festival times.
Dumplings are also a traditional food in Europe and are eaten at Christmas time. With the emigration to the New World, certain areas of America and Canada celebrate “Dumpling Festival.”
Dumplings are called “pierogi” in Poland, “varenyky” in Ukraine, “pelmeni” in Russia, “koldunai” in Lithuania, “pirohy” in Solovakia, “ravioli” in Italy and “maultaschen” in Germany.
The dough skin is like the Chinese version no matter which recipe it is. Some are made with egg and can be stuffed with meat or vegetarian filling. They can be pan-fried, boiled, stewed or baked; and some are even wilder than that—they are wrapped in bacon. American National public Radio (NPR) reporter Carolyn Beans recalled the dumplings her grandmother made for her as a child. “Christmas was my grandmother’s time to shine. She was a rigid perfectionist about how she made her dumplings and they were always featured prominently as the star attraction of her dinner table. After her passing we could never recapture the amazing flavor of the dumplings