Italian Tortellini and Chinese Jiaozi

I am not a big fan of Jiaozi dumpling, but when I notice the familiar shape of Italian Tortellini, I still felt glad of finding another similar western food. There are two kinds of Tortellini on the supermarket shelf, one filling is spinach and ricotta cheese, another bacon and ham. I don’t expect fillings like pork mince and garlic chives or cabbages as we usually do in China.

During the research, I found that there are other varieties similar as Chinese Jiaozi along the Silk Road from Korea in the east to Italia in the west, all the way cross the Siberian Plain and turns at Middle East to India in the south west, such as Korean Mandu, Japanese Gyoza, Siberian pelmeni, Italian Tortellini and Ravioli, Turkish Manti, and Indian Gujia (also called gujhia). There are no questions that Mandu and Manti are cognate words, while Gyoza, Jiaozi, and Gujia are cognate words from another origin. Pelmeni is originated from Tartar Pilmän.

The Korean word Mandu was derived from Chinese Mantou, which used to mean meat filled dumpling, and it’s still called mantou in Southern China, but now in Northern China refers to steamed bun without any fillings.

Japanese gyoza is completely same as Chinese Jiaozi, or Gaau in Cantonese, even the word gyōza was derived from the pronunciation of the same word in Chinese.

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