Dim sum is an integral part of global Chinese culture and its creation is an art form. Although today dim sum is inextricably linked to Cantonese cuisine, it is believed to have been first made in Northern
China, a claim supported by ancient poetic and musical references that predate Christianity. Literally meaning ‘to touch your heart,' dim sum menus offer an assortment of bite-size dumplings, steamed dishes and other, often delicate, morsels. Originally it was only for the emperor and other wealthy nobles, but over time it was served in tea houses along the Silk Road. The original shape and fillings depended upon origins, with the best, it is said, to be from Southern China, Canton and Hong Kong. Today modern chefs are exploring the boundaries and are creating some incredible dim sum. But it was in the early 20th century that the major developments occurred as the rich traders and nobles began to frequent the many establishments found on the Silk Road who vied for their business by offering ever-more creative food.