Barbara Gallani has received global attention for her book on Dumplings.
Food scientist Barbara is often asked why she wrote a book about dumplings, so she took the opportunity to explain her reasons in a presentation she gave at the book launch at Wasterstone’s Islington.
The main driver to talk about dumplings was the love of food as a child: there was a strong emotional connection with food at her childhood family household in Lodi, Italy. Food preparation, cooking and eating were communal occasions that the whole family relished.
“For me making dumplings in my kitchen is much more than a household chore: it’s a family tradition with a great power of creating a bridge across generations.
The day before All Saints’ Day my grandmother kitchen would be teeming with women: aunties, mothers and cousins and everyone would have an assigned role.”
Barbara then read from her book:
“Preparing filled dumplings from scratch can be a tricky and sticky business. It requires practice and patience and it is better achieved with more than one pair of hands.”
Listen to an extract of her presentation here:
After the presentation we were treated to some homemade dumpling tasting, including potato gnocchi with pesto and ricotta and spinach tortellini.
It is traditional in many countries to make dumplings to mark specific celebrations like the Chinese New Year, for example.
The whole family gathers around the kitchen table and making food this way has been part of the oral tradition of passing recipes on from generation to generation.
I can totally relate to that: in my family in Trieste, Italy, making potato dumplings (gnocchi) was a family affair – or, if you prefer, an assembly line.
I was mostly in charge of making ragù (aka Bolognese sauce), as I loved stirring the meat and tomato sauce in the pan for hours to reduce the sauce while intensifying the flavours.
Go on a virtual tour around the world with Barbara’s Dumpling book: fill your eyes with beautiful images of dumplings and learn about all their different flavour variations, and then follow suit by filling your belly with delicious savoury and sweet dumplings!
The book sold out that evening – it was selling like hot… dumplings!
Barbara’s book is available on Amazon.
Also, you can read a review of Barbara Gallani’s Dumplings book in the Camden Review.
Pictures credits: Paola Bassanese