Shumai was first documented during the Song Dynasty as a standard dish in Chinese teahouses that provided merchants a place to rest while travelling on the Silk Road, the enormous trade network linking Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa, which dates back to silk expeditions under Emperor Han Wudi (141-87 BC) (Schlotter 393). Along this web of trading posts, an abundance of teahouses were established for weary travelers during the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD). Tea was first popularized during the Tang dynasty as a replenishing substance and aid to meditation (Junru 114). The incredible success of Cha Jing (“The Classic of Tea”), a compilation of writings by the scholar Lu Yu (733-804) regarding the benefits of tea, shows that tea quickly became a staple in Chinese society (Junru 119). Teahouses did not initially serve food with tea, but the multi-course meal that became standard in Chinese teahouses evolved into what is now known as dim sum. From the Mandarin dian xin, dim sum roughly translates to “touching the heart,” meaning that the food is good for the soul (Dunlop 191). Dim sum dishes are mainly of Cantonese origin, although many are taken from different regions of China. Beginning as a mid to late afternoon snack, dim sum soon became more common during breakfast and lunch (Blonder 8). The Cantonese attitude towards eating places an emphasis on company, variety, and conviviality. Even though it would not be uncommon for business to be discussed over dim sum, mealtime is primarily a time for enjoyment (Schlotter 236). A brief history of Dim Sum courtesy of P.F. Chang can be seen here. Cantonese cuisine is mostly common in the United States due to a large immigrant population starting in the mid nineteenth century (Hahn 4). For the most part, Cantonese cooking uses minimal soy sauce and enhancers, relying purely on the freshness and quality of ingredients for superb flavor (Junru 71).