The Great Dumpling Debate

The Great Dumpling Debate

Definitions, Science, History and Local Recipes from around the World

By Ida Kubiszewski & Robert Costanza

This is the definitive global guide about dumplings for dumpling lovers (is there anyone who’s not?).It is a scientifically ironic travel cookbook that has created and analysed a dumpling database, including over 200 dumplings from 70 countries, each classified into six dimensions of dumplingness. It is a unique combination of history, science, statistics and, of course, recipes.

Paperback, 250 Pages


May 2024

£25.00, $35.00

  • About This Book
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About This Book

Everyone loves dumplings, but what exactly is a dumpling? Must they be stuffed? Do they have to be boiled or can they be baked, like Cornish pasties? Can the dough be bread-like with yeast or does it need to be more like pasta dough? How big or small can they be? Is a clootie dumpling even a dumpling? What about a calzone? Can they be sweet or do they have to be savoury? So many questions and so much opportunity for long debates over drinks (and dumplings).

This book explores these and other questions. We’ve created and analysed a dumpling database, including over 200 dumplings from 70 countries, each classified into six dimensions of dumplingness (dough, cooking method, flavour [savoury or sweet], stuffing, shape, and size). We also provide a bit of history with a cultural and geographical context.

But what’s a book about dumplings without recipes? Our dumpling recipes will come not just from one region or in one dimension, but will cover the global spectrum of dumplings. We have collected local family recipes from people that have been making these dumplings for decades (sometimes centuries). While travelling the world, we have made friends everywhere. We ask those friends (or more often their moms) to share their family recipes. For example, in addition to some of the classics, some of the interesting but lesser-known recipes we have are the Taameya (fava bean dumpling) from Egypt by HalaGado, the Havaadhu Li Bis dumpling from the Maldives by Nafeesa Yoosuf, the Semmelknödel from Germany by Maria Schwartz, the Raspeball dumpling from Norway by Ingrid Øistad, the Topai dumpling from Tonga by Anne-Marie Mafoa'aeata, and many more.


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Author Information

Dr. Ida Kubiszewski is an associate professor at University College London.

Prof. Robert Costanza is a professor at University College London.


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Table of Contents

Introduction: What is a dumpling and why do we care?; The history and evolution of dumplings; The geography of dumplings; The 7 dimensional global dumpling database; Categories of dumpling-lovers: where do you stand?; The future of dumplings; Recipes


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