Sum: Not Just A Cantonese Favorite Anymore
From The World Journal
In recent years, the Chinese population in New York City has been
changing, with increasing number of immigrants from Canton, Hong
Kong as well as other regions in China. As the Chinese community
grows more diverse, dim sum, a Cantonese-style cuisine [offering]
a variety of small dishes with tea, has become a popular choice
among all Chinese gourmets.
Now in a dim sum restaurant, different Chinese dialects can be
heard, including Shanghaiese, Sichuanese, and Fujianese, from customers
who come from all over Greater China. There has also been an increasing
number of non-Chinese customers.
Many dim sum chefs have been recruited from famous restaurants
in Hong Kong. The dim sum culture has served as a major driving
force to revitalize the restaurant business in Chinatown.
In the meantime, as the social and economic status rise to a new
high, the new generation of Chinese-Americans are more willing to
spend money on dining, and are paying more attention to the quality
of the food. The dim sum culture has also transformed from the
bigger, the better to the smaller and the more delicate,
For example, the roast pork buns used to come two per order, the
size of a fist. Now they are served three per order, much smaller
in size but more palatable in taste. Another popular dish, Peal
Chicken or Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, has also shrunk in size to
make room in the customers stomachs so they can also enjoy
Meanwhile, as peoples eating habits change, more healthy
dim sum dishes have been developed, such as Chinese broccoli with
oyster sauce, vegetarian dumplings and sprout dumplings.
In addition, to meet the flavor preferred by people from northern
China, Fried Dough Fun Rolls a northern version of the
popular Shrimp Fun Rolls or Roast Pork Fun Rolls, have also been
Shi-wen Liu, an experienced waiter in Chinatown, said the dim sum
business has experienced a dramatic transformation in recent years,
shifting its focus from quantity to quality. In the olden days,
dim sum restaurants catered to traditional Chinese and new immigrants
with limited spending power. They provided dishes that were known
to be big servings with cheap prices, but there was
hardly any quality.
Nowadays, as younger and wealthier generations become the main
customers, the restaurants are starting to serve smaller dishes
but of a higher quality and more nutritional values.
Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung
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