Thursday, March 30, 2017

sacred dumpling defiled

Woe to the uncouth, unkool, and uncultured West! Xiao Long Bao or soup dumplings do emphatically not belong in the hands of shallow millennials looking for the next cool trend.

Asian food lovers are fuming over a video they say "manhandles" traditional soup dumplings.
The video published by Time Out London on Facebook shows diners attempting to burst their Xiao Long Bao (little basket buns), and throw out the soup.
You can almost feel the outrage from those who have long held something sacred.

On the other hand, if no one had ever pronounced anything "sacred," would there be any frictions between those who claim to know the sacred and those knuckleheads who 'clearly' don't?


  1. New York the only US city with 3 ChinatownsMarch 30, 2017 at 11:47 AM

    Ugly Americans and Uncouth Brits eating Soup Dumplings Improperly? Ha!

    Such a fuss!

    I blame the restaurants and the critical but unhelpful Chinese foodie purists.

    Years ago my mother took me to a Shanghai restaurant in Chinatown and introduced me to soup dumplings. There the waiter explained how to eat them properly. He also warned that we needed to be careful as the "soup" may be near steaming hot when we bit into the dumplings.

    When one of the better Chinese restaurants in my neighborhood began serving S.D.'s, our waitress also offered a mini-tutorial.

    When one is lucky to get an order which is served hot but not scalding, they're sublime!

  2. I remember going to a family style chinese restaurant in London once in my early twenties and struggling with eating rice using the traditional chopsticks. By the time my friends were nearly finishing, I was still half-way through.

    When I finally gave up and asked the old-enough-to-be-my-mother lady owner for a knife and fork, she went off grumbling lowdly in chinese.

    My knowledge of the sacred is as shallow as my chopstick practice and I can't understand a word of chinese, but at least I got the knife and fork I needed to finish my meal.

  3. Tiago -- At the Zen monastery I flunked out of, one of my greatest challenges was to eat oatmeal with chopsticks. Soon enough, I recognized that there was a line to be drawn between etiquette and nourishment ... and if I were inept enough and hungry enough, fingers would suffice.

  4. Adam, I can't even begin to grasp how it is even possible to eat oatmeal with chopsticks. I'd still be fighting with my first meal of the day by the time the monks began their last, ruining the monastery's routine...

    I suppose that when the sacred is ungraspable, even with chopsticks, better pick the lesser evil.