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What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings

What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings

Edited by John Lorinc
Introduction by Karon Liu
Categories: Cooking
Paperback : 9781552454527, 232 pages, October 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781770567474, 174 pages, October 2022
Ebook (PDF) : 9781770567481, 174 pages, October 2022

Table of contents

What We Talk about When We Talk About Dumplings ToC (tentative)


Karon Liu (Toronto Star food writer)

Culinary History

Rick Halpern (historian)

Johl Whiteduck Ringuette (Anishnabek chef)

Jennifer Jordan (historian)

Stuart Sakai (owner, Sakai Bar restaurant)

Amy Rosen (cookbook author)

Julie van Rosendaal (food writer)

Christina Gonzales (freelance writer/editor)

Personal History

Angela Misri (Walrus online director)

Perry King (writer/author)

David Buchbinder (musician)

Sylvia Putz (freelance writer)

Mekhala Chaubal (lawyer)

Tatum Taylor Chaubal (heritage planner)

Chantal Braganza (editor)

Domenica Marchetti (food writer/chef)

Arlene Chan (historian)

Nam Kiwanuka (The Agenda host)

Eric Geringras (TV producer)

Miles Morrisseau (reporter/radio producer)

Michal Stein (freelance writer)

Cultural History

Naomi Duguid (cookbook author)

Cheryl Thompson (historian/cultural commentator)

Navneet Alang (tech-food columnist)

Kristen Arnett (novelist)

Marie Campbell (literary agent)

Matthew Murtagh-Wu (dumpling entrepreneur)


John Lorinc (freelance journalist/editor)

Featured on "The Sunday Magazine" on CBC Radio


Nearly every culture has a variation on the dumpling: histories, treatises, family legends, and recipes about the world’s favourite lump of carbs

If the world's cuisines share one common food, it might be the dumpling, a dish that can be found on every continent and in every culinary tradition, from Asia to Central Europe to Latin America. Originally from China, they evolved into ravioli, samosas, momos, gyozas, tamales, pierogies, matzo balls, wontons, empanadas, potato chops, and many more.

In this unique anthology, food writers, journalists, culinary historians, and musicians share histories of their culture’s version of the dumpling, family dumpling lore, interesting encounters with these little delights, and even recipes to unwrap the magic of the world's favourite dish.

With an introduction by Karon Liu.

Illustrations by Meegan Lim.

Contributors include: Michal Stein, Christina Gonzales, Kristen Arnett, David Buchbinder, André Alexis, Miles Morrisseau, Angela Misri, Perry King, Sylvia Putz, Mekhala Chaubal, Arlene Chan, Chantal Braganza, Naomi Duguid, Eric Geringas, Matthew Murtagh-Wu, Monika Warzecha, Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Tatum Taylor Chaubal, Domenica Marchetti, Julie Van Rosendaal, Amy Rosen, Cheryl Thompson, Jennifer Jordan, Marie Campbell and Navneet Alang


  • Short-listed, Taste Canada Awards, Culinary Narratives 2023


“Some essays are terrifically informative…But the most moving are deeply personal…With laughter, tears, and an occasional recipe that feels like part of an oral tradition, this collection speaks to the heart of all who grew up eating dumplings at their grandmother's table.” – Heather Booth, Booklist

"Toronto journalist and urbanist John Lorinc collects stories, histories, family traditions (and even some recipes from food historians, chefs, and other prominent Canadians) about perhaps the most universal food phenomenon the world over: the dumpling!" – Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Quill & Quire

"What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings is a collection of essays from journalists, food historians, and other writers for whom dumplings are a vessel for understanding global and personal histories that include a number of dumpling-related debates." – Alexandra Trnka, Quill & Quire

"Whether the believe calzone, pierogi, or even Scotch eggs count as dumplings, all of the authors share a sense of joy and community when it comes to these flavourful, starchy delights." – Kris Rothstein, Geist

"What We Talk about When We Talk about Dumplings will leave you hungry. And it will leave you wanting, because it turns out that a dumpling can be the perfect introduction to a different culture and to the human condition itself." – Hattie Klotz, Literary Review of Canada

"A drool-worthy publication and fun-tastic read, What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings is a compendium of some of the most engaging stories centered on dumplings." – Cynthia Rekdal, International Examiner

"A fun look at the history and stories behind dumplings the world over. The immigrant experience is at the heart of many of these touching essays. Great for a food focused book club!" – Katrina Mendrey, Chapter One Bookstore