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Dim sum

Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine. It is prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on a small plate. Dim sum is considered Cantonese, although other varieties exist. Dim sum dishes are served with tea and together form a full tea brunch. Due to the Cantonese tradition of enjoying tea with this cuisine, yum cha, which means "drink tea" in Cantonese, is synonymous with dim sum. Dim sum traditionally are served as cooked, ready-to-serve dishes. In some Cantonese teahouses, carts with dim sum are served around the restaurant; the original meaning of the term dim sum is debated. Some believe. According to legends, an unnamed general ordered civilians to make buns and cakes and send them to the front line, in order to express his gratitude towards his soldiers after battles. Gratitude in Chinese is 點點心意. However, the accuracy of the above account is not supported by any historical text; some believe this event happened in the Southern Song dynasty, which existed after the earliest historical record of the term was written, thus contradicts the notion that this event is its origin.

The earliest definite record of the term is the Book of Tang, in which dim sum was used as a verb instead of a noun. The exact quote is 「治妝未畢, 我未及餐, 爾且可點心」. In this particular context, although 點心 means "to touch heart", a more accurate translation is "to fill stomach". Texts used the term as a noun. For instance, the Record of the Northern Journey mentions 「洗漱冠飾畢, 點心已至」. Dim sum can be understood as "snacks" in this quote. In short, although its original meaning is unclear, the term has been used to describe small dishes since no than the Song dynasty; as stated in the etymology section, the term "dim sum" can be traced back to the Tang and Song dynasties, or the Eastern Jin dynasty if legends were to be believed. However, the history of dim sum dishes themselves is another matter. Dim sum is linked with the practice of yum cha, a much older tradition and can be conceptualised as a Cantonese tradition of brunch, it is believed that yum cha was associated with teahouses established along the ancient Silk Road which served as places for travelers to rest.

People discovered that tea can aid in digestion, so teahouse owners began adding various snacks and this evolved into the modern yum cha practice. The modern form of dim sum is believed to originate in Guangzhou and transmit southward to Hong Kong, whose people over the centuries transformed yum cha from a relaxing respite to a formal dining experience. Thus, the various dishes of dim sum can have a longer history than the term itself. In Cantonese-speaking regions, yum cha is sometimes described as 一盅兩件, in which "cup" refers to tea, while "two pieces" refers to two pieces of dim sum which were bigger in size and could fill up one's stomach. Nowadays, however, it is common. Many Cantonese restaurants start serving dim sum as early as five in the morning, each restaurant will have its own signature dim sum dish, it is a tradition for the elderly to gather to eat dim sum after morning exercises. For many in southern China, yum cha is treated as a weekend family day. More traditional dim sum restaurants serve dim sum until mid-afternoon.

However, in modern society, it has become commonplace for restaurants to serve dim sum at dinner time. A traditional dim sum brunch includes various types of steamed buns such as cha siu bao, rice or wheat dumplings and rice noodle rolls, which contain a range of ingredients, including beef, pork and vegetarian options. Many dim sum restaurants offer plates of steamed green vegetables, roasted meats and other soups. Dessert dim sum is available and many places offer the customary egg tart. Dim sum is eaten as breakfast or brunch. Dim sum can be cooked among other methods; the serving sizes are small and served as three or four pieces in one dish. It is customary to order family style; because of the small portions, people can try a wide variety of food. Dim sum brunch restaurants have a wide variety of dishes several dozen. Among the standard fare of dim sum are the following: Shrimp dumpling: Steamed dumpling with shrimp filling. Teochew dumpling: Steamed dumpling with peanuts, Chinese chives, dried shrimp, Chinese mushrooms.

Chive dumpling: Steamed dumpling with Chinese chives. Xiao long bao (小笼包.

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Review of film at Variety