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The half-moon-shaped, soft, stuffed pasta dumplings are not just a simple delicious snack or meal. In fact, this wonderful Chinese dumplings carry a rich history which dates back to Ancient China, 1,800 years ago. 

In a delicious and interesting TED-Ed lesson, which was written by Miranda Brown and animated by Na Na Na Studio, Pen-Pen Chen (the narrator) goes on to describe the unexpected yet interesting origins of the famous dumpling. The dish that is known to have traditionally come from China. However, many scholars do believe that dumplings were initially introduced in what is now modern-day Turkey.

“Turkic tribes spread and eventually established the Ottoman Empire around 1300 CE, bringing wrapped morsels west with them. …. Some scholars believe that the Mongol Empire also helped disseminate dumplings, perhaps introducing them to parts of Eastern Europe. These dumplings could have come by way of China or directly from some of the Turkic peoples the Mongols hired.”

But, the relationship between Chinese dumplings and those in other areas are somewhat tricky to pin down. However, with the information available, food historians were left to make their best guesses.  

The history of dumplings in China,  shows that this delicious snacks are a traditional Spring Festival food in northern China. Dumplings have an irreplaceable place in the New Year banquets taking place on the eve of the Spring Festival. 

These representative Chinese cuisine, have cultural meaning in both the shape of the dumplings as well as the chosen filling. The tradition is that these dumplings and their meanings express aspiration for a better life and the hopes for future blessings. This makes them essential for some during Spring Festival. 

Eating dumplings at the Spring Festival is said to bring good fortune financially, as dumplings look like ingots, the currency used in old times.

Watch the video to learn more about the interesting dumpling. 

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