Travel & Gourmet

History of the dim sum, this Chinese ravioli which madden Paris

Coming from a Cantonese tradition two thousand years old, the ravioli comes out of his world cooking picture for reconnect with its first codes, from Parisian tables to tea houses in Hong Kong.
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The myth

If the first Chinese ravioli, or jiaozi, were attributed to the healer and physicist Zhang Zhongjing around the 2nd century AD, the dim sum knows their golden age when introduced into the yum cha tea ceremony, served to imperial families as well as travelers on the Silk Road, passing through the Cantonese region. And if the name means there is an abundance of small dishes sweet and savory, the Western simplification attributes to the ravioli fried or steamed in a bamboo basket, stuffed with meat, vegetables or seafood.

The return

Out of the Chinese borders in the early twentieth century, dim sum prepare themselves for all the sauces and without great elegance during the surging world food of the 1990s, before ending up under the name "vapors", pouting in the window of the caterer of the corner or served as inputs to tables that care little about tradition. Fortunately, the new wave of purists returns to the ritual of yum cha, offering dim sum in calibrated menus, while some starred chefs ennoble it as in the time of the dynasties.

The good manners

According to Carolyn Phillips, author of the Dim Sum Field Guide, it is better to focus on the menu or choose dim sum a la carte, while ordering the following when the first arrive, to prevent them from cooling. And the order? The lightest first, such as shrimp dumplings, to finish on the bao, then on desserts by opting, if you're lucky, for egg pies, post-colonial version of pastéis de nata portuguese.

Address Book

In Paris

Lili at the Peninsula: the palace table with Chinese inspirations serves dim sum in their luxurious version, with lobster and caviar when the season allows it.

At New York

Name Wah Tea Parlor: Established in China Town since 1920, this true yum cha, with its retro neon lights and permanent bustle has never lost its status as an insider landmark.

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