The History of Dumplings

Dumplings are a very delicious and traditional food that goes back to Ancient China about 1,800 years ago. These dumplings also go by the name of Jiaozi. They have an interesting incident of the past and have become part of many lives. Although it is unknown who invented Dumplings, a person who went by Zhang Zhongjing, a Chinese medicine practitioner who lived in the Eastern Han Dynasty, was said to have made the first dumplings. The first known recipe for dumplings appears in a roman cookery text called Apicius. Many other dumplings variations come from different countries.


Zhang Zhonjing invented Dumplings when he was returning to his ancestral village after a long period of absence. When he returned, it was winter, and the febrile disease was starting to turn into an epidemic. Many people in his village suffered from frostbite due to not having any warm clothes and sufficient food. Zhang Zhonjing was determined to do something to get rid of their frostbite. He cooked lamb, black pepper, and a few medical herbs, shredded them, wrapped them up in dough, then shaped it into an ear, and boiled it. Everyone was then given two ears with a bowl of soup. After a few days, the frostbite was gone, and the epidemic was controlled.


There are many other recipes that were made long after the dumplings Zhang Zhongjing invented. A roman cookery text called Apicius held the first known dumpling recipe. The recipe to this is to roast pheasant, chopped fine and mixed with fat, salt, and pepper and moistened with broth, then poached in seasoned water. These simple boiled dumplings are still popular around Europe today. In Austria, their recipe for making dumplings is stale bread soaked in milk and mixed with other leftover ingredients to form dumplings. The recipe for German spaetzle is just flour dough pushed through a sieve directly into boiling water.


 Even though this food was made in China about 1,800 years ago by Zhong Zhongjing it is still around today as a favorite food by many people. With other recipes for dumplings being made, this simple dish has evolved rapidly throughout the years and will continue to grow with people making more recipes for the dish.