Dumpling is a special form of cooked dough shaped like small balls and can be made from a variety of ingredients either flour, bread or potatoes and offers various fillings such as vegetables, sauces, meat, fish and even sweets in some cultures, depending upon the taste. Dumplings are mostly fried in oil but in some cases they can be cooked with steam, boiled, baked or just slightly simmered. Some cuisines prefer to mix a variety of ingredients in the dough that is then cooked instead of having a filling in the center. Dumpling is commonly eaten with soups and gravies, such as Thai or Chinese and may also be preferred as appetizers. Dumpling basically consists of just boiled water dough, and closely related appetizers such as wontons may be of the same family but is still slightly different.
The history of dumpling can be traced back to the early Chinese civilizations in 200 BC. This was one of the main dishes that Chinese used to consume back in the day. 500 BC literary records also recorded the presence of dumpling in the cuisines. The shape and the nature of the dumpling have remained pretty much the same over the years, although its cooking methods have become more refined as compared to what they used to be. Many Chinese restaurants still present dumpling along with soups to start off as appetizers before the main course meal. Sometimes, dumplings may even be presented with salsa sauces and dips which are slightly tangy in flavor.
Some cultures associate quite a lot of significance with the dumplings. They are commonly made at the start of a New Year, as people fill them up with different things and associate their New Year expectations to them. This trend was basically started by the ancient Chinese civilizations and has been carried on by some people as a tradition. Some people might fill the dumplings up with jewels and gold and present them to their loved ones to extend their wishes for the following year. Some choose to make dumpling with sugary and sweet fillings, so that the following year may bring in lots of happiness into their lives. Jujube and chestnuts are presented to the families who are expecting a child to be born, so that the little one would bring lots of happiness and life with him/her.