Southern China is no stranger to fame. The accomplishments of the Song dynasty are pretty unforgettable, the terra cotta army is a lasting impression ten thousand times over, and Shanghai could almost be the center of the universe. But the real southern empire lives in the kitchen. Whether it's the homemade hybrid of northern dumplings and wonton soup (Southern Dumplings), the numbing spiciness of mala, or an iconic shot of sweetness that accompanies this Lotus Root, the south houses many a master chef. This particular bowl holds the best dumpling soup I've ever had.
Geographically, my family stronghold lies in the north. I love my northern noshing, my speech is pure Liaoning mandarin, and my papercuts bleed bright red DongBei blood. But when it comes to dumplings and soup, I'm all for the southern Song.