While in Georgia last week, I stopped by the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market to shop for some food with my mother. While we were there, we stopped by a kiosk inside where handmade dumplings were made. Now, these were really something else, the quality of the dumpling really in a class of its own. The man who made them–a real professional, an artist really–explained to me quite a bit about his dumplings. He had been a dumpling maker in South Korea for years and had moved to America a few years ago. I had mentioned to him that I was a fan of Chinese dumplings, to which he mentioned that he used to make pork dumplings in Korea, but that the quality of pork in America was so bad that he wouldn’t make them anymore here. He also showed me one of his dumpling wrappers, stretching and stretching away without the slightest tear, and afterwards putting it on top of the back of my hand to show me how smooth it was. Amazing! I was invited to pull on the wrapper as well and was amazed at the quality of it.
The dumpling he did make had absolutely no fat in them as well as were made with three different types of mushrooms amongst other things. He cooked them in a very unique way of having boiled water put in a large bowl and dropping the dumplings within it, then after a little time getting them out with a strainer spoon.
The end result was an absolutely fantastic handmade dumpling! It was really something to experience, both the dumplings and the man. It’s really quite startling to see someone who really is a master of his or her craft doing their work, showing such an obvious mastery and passion at what they do. I was really humbled by it all. Perhaps one day, with many more compositions under my belt, that sort of mastery over musical material will manifest itself. I can only continue working and find out.