GOOD

If You Are What You Eat, Why Not Be A Dumpling?

This is the secret to a doughy, cute, and delicious life

Have you ever gnoshed something that made you feel like the physical embodiment of that food? There are bad foods for this to happen with, like when you eat pizza and then feel as if you’re a slice of pizza—greasy, shiny, red, slightly overheated. I wouldn’t wish transforming into a pizza on anyone, despite my love for pizza.

But when this phenomenon has positive results, it’s one of the greatest things in the world. And that is where dumplings come in. Dumplings are wonderful. They are plump, cute, take only two bites to eat, and cost next to nothing.


But the best part is, after you’re done eating them, you sometimes feel like a dumpling. Not that you become plump and cheap necessarily, but if dumplings could be emotions, one might describe such emotions as warm and fuzzy. Personally, after I eat a dumpling, I feel like I’m being enveloped in warmth and good vibes. Sometimes I feel a little ticklish. Not sure why that happens, but I’m sure the experience varies from person to person.

Dim sum

Beyond feeling like a human version of a dumpling after I finish consuming them, I think dumplings are great because there’s a certain decisiveness that comes with them that doesn’t always exist with other foods. This makes dumplings one of the most efficient foods out there.

Often you’ll hear the question phrased like, “Would you like to grab dinner?” followed up with, “Okay, what do you feel like?” When you can’t decide, you start to get angry because you’re hungry and it all goes downhill from there. It would have been easier to just suggest dumplings from the start.

All of this is to say that dumplings equal productivity, positivity, and togetherness—one doughy chomp at a time.

Arguably, dumplings originated from Roman recipes in which meats were minced and combined with herbs, then mixed with fat and poached in seasoned water.

The most familiar form of dumplings, and perhaps what most often comes to mind when talking about dumplings, are Chinese dumplings (steamed or pan-fried). According to Chinese legend, during the Han Dynasty, a man named Zhang Zhongjing came up with a solution to frostbite, of all things, by wrapping meat and herbs in scraps of dough, boiling them, and giving them to people to put on their frostbitten ears.

But every culture has a dumpling form.

In Middle Eastern culture, there are various versions of dumplings that are reminiscent of earlier and later types. There’s kafta, which are more on par with earlier Roman dumplings: meaty herb balls, often cooked alone or in a spicy sauce. The process of making them is simple, but communally oriented. Middle Eastern families come together to pack meat and herbs into the palms of their hands. It’s the same when my family gets together to make kafta—everyone, literally and figuratively, has a hand in the completion of the meal.

Nepalese momos with a spicy sauce

Momos from Nepal, which resemble Chinese dumplings, are typically more satchel-like in appearance. These bite-sized cuties are known as a delicacy and are a crowd favorite in the Nepalese region. Today, they’re usually filled with buffalo or chicken meat, but a variety of flavors have become popular over the years, including yak meat, ginger, and garlic. Roughly the size of a marble, they’re best eaten in one bite to experience the full explosion of flavor that each momo has to offer.

A traditional Polish meal of beer and boiled pierogi. Graeme Maclean/Flickr

There’s the pierogi, which is most famously known as a Polish delight, though they are eaten all throughout Eastern Europe. There’s a sweet and savory component to the flavorful journey that your palette embarks on during a meal with pierogi. (In English, we pluralize the word by saying pierogies, though in Polish, the word pierogi is already plural). They’re commonly served with sour cream and fried onions and often found with any combination of fillings that include ground meats, cheeses, fruits, and potatoes.

The Swedish folks have their own delicious-sounding dumpling called kroppkaka (the plural is kroppkakor). These potato dumplings are filled with either bacon or pork and onions. They’re compared to the Lithuanian dumpling, cepelinai, which are similar, save a few differences. The outside is made from grated and riced potatoes and they’re stuffed with ground meat, though sometimes they can be stuffed with mushrooms and dried cottage cheese.

As I’ve attempted to find the origins for many of the dumplings that I’ve come across on the internet, I’ve run into ambiguity across the board. It’s difficult to pin down the exact origin of any region’s particular version of a dumpling, which I think makes it all the more popular. With so many iterations of the meal, it’s nearly impossible to give any one person credit (with the exception of Zhang Zhongjing—that origin seems to be the most legit).

Bulgogi dumplings. Joyosity/Flickr

With so many different types of dumplings to feel like, I wonder if when someone in Chinatown eats a dumpling, they feel different than when someone in Lithuania eats a cepelinai or when someone in Kathmandu eats a momo. But I’ll bet the feelings that the different dumpling bring about are similar—warmth and happiness, enveloped in fuzzy emotions and positive surroundings.

Food
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet