If you thought flatbreads were hard to categorize, just try wrapping your head around dumplings for a minute. You could start with the narrowest definition, as offered by the Oxford Companion to Food: a small blob of steamed or boiled dough. But suppose there’s a bit of filling inside that blob. Suppose it’s baked or fried. And how small is small? At what point do dumplings become, say, buns, tamales, doughnut holes or Cornish pasties?
Our answer may not fly with Oxford editors, but most cooks will appreciate it: you draw the line by feel, by instinct, as well as by common sense and practice. (For example, we’re perfectly comfortable with the idea that most stuffed pastas, like ravioli and tortelloni, are also dumplings, whereas empanadas, samosas and knish are not.)
Here are 10 goodies at the top of our list, but there are so many others that a sequel post will be in order soon—stay tuned.Read More