What is Dim Sum?
You know that without immigrants coming to our beautiful country, we would be pretty boring from a gourmet food standpoint. We have our jobs that take up most of our day and lunch tends to be kinda boring based on the season. Sandwiches, subs, salads and burgers are king. Now with our fast life style, who has time to cook or be creative in the kitchen. It's easier to go to the drive thru, pickup a menu while waiting in those special parking waiting for our take out meals. Carbohydrates rule making us feel full and sugar and salt is king to making everything taste soo good. The days of actually getting our hands involved in cooking is gone. Mixing ingredients to develop a unique flavor is years gone past, EXCEPT DIM SUM. DIM SUM is the ancient art of creating numerous varieties of dumplings and basically creating an art form.
The Chinese have been eating Dim Sum for centuries. The origins of Dim Sum is not exact but there are guesses that it all started in Northern China but slowly evolved by itself in Southern China. Those fortunate to eat Dim Sum were royalty and the rich. In China, eating was an art of tasting various flavors to choose from. Not like gobbling up great food, royalty was very meticulous. Those that made Dim Sum created little art forms and the blending of flavors were so important. It was the best kept secret in China but like everything else, immigrants came to the big cities in American mainly New York and San Francisco where Chinatown's were born. These places were a haven for the Chinese to feel comfortable in a new country. Getting use to American food was definitely foreign to them. Food was the common denominator and Dim Sum was the first things they all loved. During the immigration process, a number of chefs came to America and they used what was available in America. During those lean years in China, the common people were so poor that beef or chicken were rare commodities and reserved for special occasions like weddings. and special holidays like Chinese New Year.
Dim Sum was made fresh as the Chinese love fresh especially when it comes to eating. Remember the idea of refrigeration was foreign to them Every meal was prepared fresh everyday.
Dim Sum was considered the Chinese version of Breakfast and lunch (brunch). The blnce of Dim Sum required a balance of tea. There are certain teas that go well with Dim Sum, like various wines for chicken or beef or for Italian cuisine or Chinese. The 2 favorite are in phonetic is "Bo Lay" cha (Black tea} or "Gook Fa" cha (Chrysathium tea). Why, the flavor compliments Dim Sum and most importantly, tea has the tanic acid from the leaves especially from Bo Lay tea leaves, the Chrysanthenum tea is more from a flavor flavor standpoint.
Every table has a pot of hot tea. So, by drinking hot tea will basically rinse all the grease from the fried foods and basically clear out your system.
Dim Sum for the Chinese in the traditional sense allows individuals to relax, read th paper and eat a Dim Sum or two. But the popularity in the big cities is more of how fast you can enjoy Dim Sum since there are lines waiting for a table.
Then through years of population shifting from the big cities, the younger generation settled in suburbia and more immigrants settled I suburbia, now suburbia become a marketing gem by offering authentic Chinese food, older generation have moved in with their kids as an extended family. Then other ethnic restaurants opened bringing with them more immigrants, then major corporations see the potential job opportunities from technical engineers, statisticians and area had huge concentrations of new immigrants offering a skill needed by corporation spreading economic growth and ethnic diversity of foods.
Even still, the majority of foodies may have heard about various ethnic foods or they did try it while visiting friends or relatives in America or tried it when travelling outside of the USA. To those foodies, help has arrived, Chef Woo Can can now accompany you as host for his Dim Sum Food Tour with your friends and family and make you as comfortable entering a authentic Chinese restaurant with tons of Chinese people and probably not speaking English. BUT remember this, when you see a restaurant with lots of Chinese, you know their eating good food.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
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