Who doesn’t enjoy a warm ball of dough filled with delectable stuffing? We sure do! One thing when traveling that is almost as important as site seeing is the food that is experienced. Dumplings are a food experience that goes beyond simply being a delicious food.
A majority of countries have their own style of dumpling, which makes enjoying them a cultural experience. From the steamed dumplings of China to the coconut filled Modaks of India, we’ve put together a list of dumplings that are worth traveling for.
Originating from China, xiaolongbaos are a soup dumpling, traditionally filled with pork or crab meat and cooked in a steaming basket made of bamboo. Also, inside these dumplings is a small piece of gelatin that melts when steamed. When you bite into these juicy dumplings you are surprised with the taste and warm sensation of soup.
Ravioli is one of the most popular dumplings with just as many different combinations and varieties. This Italian recipe is packed with ingredients from cheese and meat to a combination of vegetables. Traditionally the pasta is made from scratch and a richness of flavors comes forth from the dish. There are also canned and frozen variations available in most grocery stores, but a trip to Italy is the authentic way to enjoy this French dumpling.
Pierogis are dumplings from Eastern Europe that are so delicious that the recipe has traveled much further. The half-moon shape of the Pierogi is similar to a potsticker in the world of dumplings, but this European dish is made with unleavened dough, stuffed with potatoes and boiled for a scrumptious meal. Some recipes include other fillings such as cabbage, ground beef, mushrooms, onions, cheese or sauerkraut. The variety of pierogi makes it a great dish to try several different kinds while traveling Eastern Europe.
If India is your travel destination, let us add Modaks on your must-do list. Modaks are the perfect dessert dumpling. Their teardrop shaped rice flower casing is filled with coconut and sugar. As most dumplings have a history to them, the Modak’s story is unique. These dumplings are usually made for celebrating the Ganesh festival and some are given as an offering to Ganesha, a Hindu deity.
Though slightly different than the former dumplings listed, the Empanada is by our definition a dumpling to be considered. These dumplings are larger in size, and traditionally baked rather than boiled. However, by having a myriad of stuffing wrapped in a flavorful pastry, they are a dish you must try.
It’s hard to say where to visit to find traditional empanadas because so many countries have taken the recipe and ran with it. Originally empanadas came from Spain, but now you can find these delicious dumplings in most Latin American countries.
Depending on where you are visiting, you will find different customary stuffings. In Central American countries the empanadas are traditionally stuffed with meat and potatoes. Whereas in Spain and Camp Verda you will find tuna and fish-filled recipes. Universally you can find dessert filled empanadas that you really cannot go wrong no matter the stuffing.
Follow your stomach to far away places, and let Must Do Travels pave the way for an adventurous and appetizing trip.