Like many edibles in China, dumplings can be traced back for centuries, with as many nuances as there are regions in China, each conveying profound esoteric and symbolic connotations. Asian dumplings are the epitome of a cultural food masquerading in its simplicity, only to reveal an underbelly of complex flavors and depth. Much easier to master than one might think, dumplings are fun to make and can be customized by the color and flavor of the dough, a variety of fillings and the way they are folded or sealed. These tasty little pockets of flavor are a popular holiday dish and will leave party guests and family wanting more. Top them off by serving with an array of aromatic dipping sauces and a spicy chili oil….
One of the joys of traveling and living abroad, is the discovery of foreign lands and being able to immerse my daily life in the food, people and traditions of a culture that is, more often than not, very different from my own. As with anyone who travels , there are cultures and countries you like and then there are those cultures that you instantly fall in love with, that feel like a long, lost home away from home, that you, quite simply, just connect with. Whether you believe it’s some deeply profound kismet connection or merely a cool new discovery, it’s unmistakeable when it happens. Asia (mainly China, Japan and Indonesia) was and continues to be, like that for me.
Mooncakes come in an amazing variety of shapes, designs and flavors, depending upon where their regional origin. They are a centuries old tradition in China, their history intertwined with Mongolian folk lore tales of secret messages and puzzles hidden within the mooncakes and their intricate outer designs to over throw dynasty rulers. Folk lore legends don’t get much better than that!