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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Overhyping of a Particular Dumpling

It is a sad but true thing that human beings have the tendency to overrate.  Serious Eats, an extremely useful but nerdie website, is not immune to this.  They have been running their end of year best lists, and lamb dumplings from Tianjin Dumpling House in Flushing, Queens keep coming up.

Let's take a look at some of the descriptions of the lamb dumplings: 

"The lamb dumplings in particular are incredible—the skins are thin and delicate, chewier than wontons but only slightly. The filling is self-saucing: a lipsmackingly rich mix of finely ground lamb, ever so slightly gamey, tempered by the sweetness of summer squash and scallion. By my rankings, they're the best dumplings New York has to offer."

"These are some of the best (and most unique) dumplings I've had in my many years of dumpling eating. The medium-weight skin neatly contains an outrageously juicy (think borderline-XLB level) mix of finely ground lamb with tiny shreds of squash and scallion, miraculously free of the off-putting gamey flavor that plagues many a budget lamb dish. I've never encountered dumplings like these, and the cravings keep me up at night."

I tasted these lamb dumplings, and they're certainly respectable, most likely better than your average dumpling, but some of this hyperbole is simply ridiculous.  "I've never encountered dumplings like these, and the cravings keep me up at night."  This is just absurd and also annoying.  

Happy new year.