Tang Dynasty dumplings

pottery dumplings from the Tang Dynasty

Image: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Tang_dynasty_pottery_dumplings.jpg

I just discovered this amazing image while researching dumpling history. In particular, check out the dumpling on the right. This ‘food’ was apparently unearthed in 1972 from a Tang Dynasty tomb in Turpan, Xinjiang.

Here’s how the conversation with my partner went:

Jas: Cool! Pottery dumplings from the Tang Dynasty, that’s about 618 – 907 CE. I’m surprised at how little they’ve changed since that time.

Dan: Well they’re not made out of clay anymore, that’s a good start.

Dumpling museums

out the front of the takoyaki museum

Image: http://www.japan-i.jp/explorejapan/kinki/osaka/ bayarea/d8jk7l000002szfi-img/d8jk7l000002szg1.jpg

So, after a brief foray into history, I happened to google ‘dumpling museum’ and was surprised at the number of dumpling museums out there (i.e. the number was greater than zero).

Here’s a fun photo of the Osaka Takoyaki Museum that will get people arguing over whether takoyaki (octopus balls) are really dumplings or not. You could also argue that the museum is more of a food court. (I’ll leave you to it in the comments.)

Also, you may wish to explore the website of the Thuringian Dumpling Museum, which looks truly awesome. Apparently, in one of their programs you can get your “Certificate as ‘Doctor of Dumplings’ with official presentation hand-embroidered cooking apron and chef’s hat champagne reception or reception with potato schnapps served in a hollowed-out frozen potato box containing dumpling schnapps, potato bread, etc.” I would love to be a Doctor of Dumplings!

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3 responses »

  1. Mags says:

    I’ll take a bite. Takoyaki are like round balls of pancake with a filling, usually octopus but just about anything savoury can be found in them. I’ve even had bacon takoyaki. I wouldn’t call them dumplings. They’re not in the same class as gyoza and the cooking technique is incredibly different from dumplings.

    You have to rotate the batter around the filling in a specially made takoyaki pan to create a sphere around it. For me, dumplings have a definite pastry/dough around the filling before cooking.

  2. Wow! Bacon takoyaki sound awesome. I wonder if it’s hard to get hold of a takoyaki pan to try making them.

    I think the batter (more liquid) vs dough (more elastic) would classify them as pancakes instead of dumplings, but my opinion on such things isn’t particularly well informed.

    I know it’s not always the most reliable of sources, but even Wikipedia doesn’t seem very sure of takoyaki classification! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki

    It seems there are a few border disputes around the round small pancakes, perhaps including some bánh bèo and poffertjes.

    • Mags says:

      Poffertjes are definitely pancakes. My boyfriend is half Dutch. He calls them Dutch pancakes after I mangle the pronunciation. I can think it in my mind but I can’t make my mouth make the right sounds.

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