At their base, dumplings are just dough wrapped around a filling, yet every region of the world has its own unique version of them. Why are they loved by so many around the globe? Is it because they’re easy to make? Is it because they keep you warm in winter? Or is it simply because they’re downright delicious? Whatever the reason, dumplings are the universal language of the food world, and we want to be fluent. Let’s educate ourselves on a few different variations!
Among European dumplings, the potato is king. Whether it’s pierogi from Poland, gnocchi from Italy, or kroppkakor from Sweden, almost all of them feature dough with a mashed potato filling along with meat or cheese. Not that we’re complaining; after all, if you want something hot and hearty, it’s hard to go wrong with potatoes.
Dumplings from Africa don’t always include a filling, but they’re still sure to fill you up. Madombi from Botswana and banku and kenkey from Ghana are all doughy dumplings made from flour or cornmeal, often served with fragrant soup, sauce, or meat. We don’t know about you, but we’re absolutely fascinated by all the different flavor combinations you could create with these dumplings.
South America is all about meaty dumplings. Coxinhas, empanadas, and papas rellenas are all dough pockets filled to the brim with juicy chicken, pork, and beef. These dumplings are massively popular from Brazil to Argentina to Colombia, and it’s not hard to see why. Just looking at those photos is enough to work up an appetite!
Oceania’s dumplings are pretty different, but trust us when we say that they’re all delicious. Hawaii loves manapua (steamed buns), Tonga loves faikakai (coconut caramel dumplings), and New Zealand loves boil up (doughy dumplings with vegetables in pork stock). They all have exquisite taste, don’t you think?
Asia is so crazy about dumplings that almost every Asian country has its own type of dumpling. We can’t fit all of them in here, so we chose a few of our favorites: xiao long bao (soup dumplings) from China, samosas (fried potato dumplings) from India, and gyoza (potstickers) from Japan. That last one tastes pretty great dipped in our Double Hi Potsticker Sauce, just so you know!
We’ve expanded our dumpling vocabulary, and now it’s time to try them in real life. Which one will you eat first? Let us know in the comments!
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