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A brief history of dumplings - Miranda Brown

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As archaeologists pored over ancient tombs in western China, they discovered some surprisingly well-preserved and familiar relics. Though hardened over 1,000 years, there sat little crescent-shaped dumplings. So who invented these plump pockets of perfection, and how did they spread across the world? Miranda Brown traces the tangled, mysterious historical web of dumplings.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Miranda Brown
  • Director Léon Moh-Cah, Andi Concha
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen
  • Storyboard Artist Na Na Na Studio
  • Animator Na Na Na Studio
  • Art Director Na Na Na Studio
  • Composer Jan Willem De With
  • Sound Designer Jan Willem De With
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Anna Bechtol
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Abdallah Ewis
  • Editorial Producer Cella Wright
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Historians have long been fascinated with the history of dumplings. In 2013, the Oxford Symposium published Wrapped and Stuffed Foods: Proceedings on the Symposium: Foods and Cookery, 2012. It is available as a free Google Book. You can read about the origins and relationship between dumplings, as well as some of the controversies. 

For readers interested in learning more about how the Silk Road contributed to the spread of foodways across Eurasia, Crossroads of Cuisine: The Eurasian Heartland, the Silk Roads and Food by Paul David Buell et al. It is available for download as an Open Access book. 

If you are interested in learning more about historical menus, the New York City Public Library hosts a searchable database called “What’s on the Menu?" It contains 17,000+ American restaurant menus.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Miranda Brown
  • Director Léon Moh-Cah, Andi Concha
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen
  • Storyboard Artist Na Na Na Studio
  • Animator Na Na Na Studio
  • Art Director Na Na Na Studio
  • Composer Jan Willem De With
  • Sound Designer Jan Willem De With
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Anna Bechtol
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Abdallah Ewis
  • Editorial Producer Cella Wright
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace

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