Pot-stickers, Gyoza, Mantu, Dumplings: The bite sized delights that cross cultures

We love this blog from Manchester-based blogger and food lover, Teasesame. For us, it just highlights the ubiquity of the link between dumplings and crossing cultures. This piece presents just some of the different dumplings from around the world that are personal to the author through the different cultural identities present in her life, and a little review on how she made them.


tea and sesame

Prawn Dumplings/Pot Stickers Postickers

During my childhood, my parents were keen to ensure my siblings and I retained our culture, mother tongue and heritage. As second generation migrants living in the UK there was always a need to balance my two identities; though not without the occasional volcanic eruption!

I attended a Sunday supplementary school to learn to read and write Chinese. This took place from 1-3pm each week and was attended by hundreds of children just like me, my sister and my cousins. A regular ritual for my family was to go to China Town and at 12pm for a dim sum lunch before we then rushed over to school. In Hong Kong, dim sum is traditionally served throughout the day.From early in the morning for breakfast right through to late afternoon for late lunches. ‘Dim Sum’ (點心) translated means ‘Touch of the Heart’.  If you’ve read my ‘About’ page, you’ll know that my name…

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A Recipe for Success: English and Dumplings

There are currently many women living in Britain who have a wealth of pre-existing skills and resources to offer, but do not have the required English language level to do so. These are the women that Heart & Parcel aims to support.

What is ESOL and why is it in trouble?

The government offers ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision which is free English classes for migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers who come to Britain and need help learning the language. Due to media sensationalist coverage on ‘migrants’ and a highly politicized discourse, the general public have been ill-informed about who comes to this country, for what reasons and the amount of provision or hand-outs they receive.  This misinformation perpetuates a negative view surrounding those who require these classes. A combination of all these factors lead to funding for ESOL being insecure and unstable (Hamilton & Hiller, 2009).

As a result, waiting lists for ESOL classes are long, colleges and teaching staff feel the strain with lack of resources. Recent studies into the effects of funding cuts in this area have documented a ‘culture of fear’ and dis-empowerment amongst staff at FE colleges (O’Leary & Smith, 2012). Furthermore, current funding is gagged by strict conditions from the home office and government policies as to who can benefit from these classes.

Continue reading “A Recipe for Success: English and Dumplings”

Unwrapping Poland’s Christmas Parcels

In the last two decades, pierogi (small, filled dumplings) have become the real deal in Poland. The calling card of our cuisine if you like, a worthy representation of our nation abroad along with bigos stew, kabanos sausage and of course Polish chleb (bread).

Pierogi used to only come with the traditional fillings, such as pork, mushroom and cabbage, but these days many more varieties can be found. We have come across flavours such as spinach and feta cheese, buckwheat and lentils – ingredients even our grandmothers couldn’t imagine finding in those tiny parcels!

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Policy, Pierogi and the Perceptions of Women

There are many important issues surrounding our project; their influence indirectly becoming the drive behind Heart & Parcel. Having worked as an English teacher with migrant communities and Karolina working as an advice support worker, I feel the need to discuss the political messages that surround these communities and ESOL, both previously and currently in Britain. I hope this post may shed light as to why increasing numbers of people who, like us work in the third sector and specifically with migrant communities in Britain, are setting up social projects like Heart & Parcel all around the country, and why they are so important in the current political climate.

Continue reading “Policy, Pierogi and the Perceptions of Women”

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