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Dim Sum: Snacking Along the Silk Road
Check out Groupon’s guide to learn what to expect from Canton’s small-plate tradition, dim sum.
Dim sum, or bite-size Cantonese snacks, evolved from the culinary tradition of yum cha teahouses along China's Silk Road, where travelers and farmers often stopped for solitary meals. Over time, the style developed into a more social dining experience, and tablemates began sharing their mini plates. Classic dim sum offerings include steamed buns (also called bao), rolls filled with rice noodles and prawns, and dumplings, of which there are countless regional styles. Today, diners might run into anything from fried chicken feet to congealed blood cakes served under the banner of dim sum. Much of the artistry of these dishes lies in the details. Chef Jackey Chow of Hotel Nikko Hong Kong surmises that a detail as seemingly minor as the number of pleats pressed into a dumpling could determine the skill level of the cook.