Did you know that the dumpling, a world-renowned symbol of Chinese cuisine, did not originate in China? On Thursday, January 7, cultural historian Miranda Brown will take us all the way back to the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD) to trace the dumpling’s roots deep into Central Asia. It’s a journey that will take us through foreign dynasties, epic Mongol expansion, and the family recipes of a Ming dynasty Shanghai noble, to understand the how the ubiquitous “Chinese” staple came to be.
Miranda Brown is a cultural historian who specializes in food. A Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, Brown has published widely on Chinese medical, culinary, and cultural history. She is the author of numerous books including: The Politics of Mourning in Early China (2007), the co-author of A Brief History of Chinese Civilization (2012), and most recently, The Art of Medicine in Early China: The Ancient and Medieval Origins of a Modern Archive (2015). She is currently writing a book on the history of milk in China. The first installment of this project examines the cheeses from the Shanghai region in the sixteenth century.