Around the World via the NYC Dumpling Festival

In Festivals, NYC by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch14 Comments

The NYC Dumpling Festival provides a culinary journey from Asia to Europe via South America. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Thumbs Up from the Dumpling Mama at the NYC Dumpling Festival. NYC Dumpling Festival

Thumbs Up from the Dumpling Mama at the NYC Dumpling Festival

Our dumpling journey started as we drove from the Bronx to the Sara D Roosevelt Park in Manhattan’s Lower East Side where we were welcomed by festive balloons and colorful dragon dancers. Then, as we perused the dozen or so food stands, our senses quickly perked up as we heard the sizzling sounds and smelled the tantalizing aromas. Just five minutes at the NYC Dumpling Festival, and we just had one question.

What dumpling should we try first?

NYC Dumpling Festival Decision

Our decision was easy. We started our adventure with Chinese dumplings. It just felt right based on our ongoing love affair with this particular food.

Doughy and soupy, the Chinese dumplings whet our appetite for more. We continued our Asian journey with spring rolls, sui mei, sticky rice and wontons. It was a veritable cornucopia of glutinous delights, and we were up for the culinary challenge.

Steamed Pork and Chicken Dumplings. NYC Dumpling Festival

Steamed Pork and Chicken Dumplings

Edamame Dumplings and Chicken Wontons with Asian Slaw. NYC Dumpling Festival

Edamame Dumplings and Chicken Wontons with Asian Slaw

As we slurped, chewed and nibbled on our dumpling bounty, the lines started to get longer. Word had gotten out. The diverse crowd was happy to spend $20 for tickets that got them four heaping plates plus entry into the raffle for highly desirable prizes like first class Delta plane tickets and a Go-Pro. The raffle winners were especially happy, and who can blame them for that.

A diverse crowd queued up for dumplings at the NYC Dumpling Festival in New York's Lower East Side.

A diverse crowd queued up for dumplings at the NYC Dumpling Festival in New York’s Lower East Side.

After we completed our tour of Asia, we sampled loaded pierogis from Poland, crispy empanadas from South America and saucy ravioli from Italy. Each dumpling celebrated its cultural heritage while honoring the simplicity of the dumpling.

Global dumpling options at the NYC Dumpling Festival included pierogis, empanadas and ravioli.

Global dumpling options at the NYC Dumpling Festival included pierogis, empanadas and ravioli.

Entertainment at the NYC Dumpling Festival

The dumplings would have been enough to satisfy us and the rest of the hungry crowd, but the free entertainment kept everybody at the festival long after our appetites were sated. There was a wide assortment of eclectic music and dancing, but the star event was the dumpling eating contest.

While we ate the dumplings for gastronomical pleasure, the participants in the dumpling eating contest were there for three reasons: competition, bragging rights and cash money. Professional competitive eater Takera Kobayashi kicked off the competition in the best way possible, by eating 32 dumplings in just 30 seconds.

Professional competitive eater Takera Kobayashi kicked off the dumpling eating contest by eating dumplings. NYC Dumpling Festival

Professional competitive eater Takera Kobayashi kicked off the dumpling eating contest by eating 32 dumplings in 30 seconds.

The crowd was justifiably enthralled by the competitive gluttony. Three rounds each of men and women stuffed their faces with dumplings as we all watched in awe. David “Tiger Wings” Brunelli was the winning man after devouring 78 dumplings in two minutes. Impressive as that seems, Molly Schuyler set a new record by eating an astounding 93 dumplings in her two-minute round.

Mouths were agape as the crowd watched the dumpling eating competition. The contestants, especially the professional eaters, were in it to win it. NYC Dumpling Festival

Mouths were agape as the crowd watched the dumpling eating competition. The contestants, especially the professional eaters, were in it to win it.

Male contestants eat to win at the dumpling eating contest. The winning man ate 78 dumplings in two minutes. NYC Dumpling Festival

Male contestants ate to win at the dumpling eating contest. The winning man ate 78 dumplings in two minutes.

Not to be outdone by the men, the female competitors at the dumpling eating contest chowed down with gusto. The winning woman at 93 dumplings in two minutes. NYC Dumpling Festival

Not to be outdone by the men, the female competitors at the dumpling eating contest chowed down with gusto. The winning woman ate 93 dumplings in two minutes.

The dumpling eating contest was memorable for its gluttonous display; however, it’s the dumplings that we’ll remember as the true stars of the NYC Dumpling Festival. The rest of the festival was a glorious bonus.

At the end of the day, dumplings are the stars at the NYC Dumpling Festival. These dumplings are getting ready for their close up.

At the end of the day, dumplings are the stars at the NYC Dumpling Festival. These dumplings are getting ready for their close up.

This post was sponsored by the NYC Dumpling Festival as part of our coverage of the annual event.


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Comments

  1. Oh my mouth is watering now! Those dumplings look amazing. Your photos are wonderful and enticing. I have never witnessed a food eating competition but eating 93 dumplings in two minutes is beyond amazing.

  2. Oh wow, I remember that time when I used to live in Singapore. Dumpling day is such a hit! People everywhere love to eat different kinds of dumplings and Chinese dim sum. It’s always a happy moment to sample an overload of food stuff while knowing about the cultural heritage.

  3. 32 dumplings in 30 seconds. Holy Cow. I had to re-read that about 3 times to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. I love dumplings, so I would love to go to an event like this. I wish I could grab one through the computer I am so hungry right now!
    Emma Spellman recently posted…Give back with JICMy Profile

  4. I had no idea that NYC had a dumpling festival! Dim sum is one of my favorite food – I imagine there are SO many different kinds of dumplings available at this festival. NYC is one of the best places to eat in the word and when they roll out a festival, I would imagine it’s heaven!
    Jaime Nicole recently posted…Aflac Open Enrollment 2015 is Now Ready for Your FamilyMy Profile

  5. I have actually never had a dumpling before and I am not entirely sure I would enjoy them! My husband really like them though so I know he would like to go an event like this. I wish I lived closer to New York City since I love all of their culture and events.

  6. Wow, the first I’ve heard of a dumpling festival, looks like loads of fun and good food! My wife and I were just in New York City in Sept. for the first time. So much great food to choose from!
    Robert recently posted…Benefits of Travel BloggingMy Profile

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