By:Â Justin Chan
Chinese cuisine in America is often defined by typical dishes such as orange chicken, dumplings and chow mein. Those dishes only represent a small portion of the vast number of culinary treats the Chinese have to offer. Stroll through Chinatown in the vibrant Lower East Side, and you’ll find roasted pork or duck hanging in front of restaurant windows and vendors selling mini pancakes made from a gooey batter. Better yet, walk into a restaurant, and you might have the chance to experience a popular Cantonese serving known as dim sum.
Dim sum traces its roots back to the ancient Silk Road, which connected East Asia to parts of Africa and Europe. The trade route allowed merchants to exchange goods but also gave rise to a delicacy that many Chinese families have come to adore. Farmers and laborers would stop by teahouses along the route where they would yum cha (drink tea) and help themselves to dim sum or small platters of food. The Cantonese in Southern China particularly took a liking to the bite-sized edibles, and what used to be a quiet dining experience quickly became a raucous one. Read More