Thursday, October 13, 2005

Swallowing a Cloud

Various unreliable Internet sources translate the word "wonton" as "swallowing a cloud." I have no idea whether this is accurate, but I like it. If eating an ordinary wonton-wrapped dumpling qualifies as cloud consumption, though, crab rangoons merit the title twice-over.

Like the similarly bastardized Philadelphia roll (or bagel roll) of Japanese cuisine, these lovely fried wontons feature cream cheese. Occasionally scallions are involved. But it is an unbreakable rule that crab may be present only in microscopic portions. And, truth be told, there is usually no real crab meat at all.

The Chinese Restaurant Project has found rangoons everywhere, despite the fact that (as far as I can tell) no self-respecting Chinese home cook would consider whipping up a batch of these Frankenstein dumplings. They certainly are the red-headed stepchild of the Chinese takeout world. Still, I prefer to think of crab rangoons more kindly. To me, they're fusion cuisine.

1 comment:

Mumu said...

Hi Katherine

It's great to hear from you. Indeed, wanton in Chinese is literally "cloud swallow." Cream cheese wantons with imitation crab meat...hmm...
Your blog, I like :)