If you've been fortunate enough to avoid the current xiaolongbao internet frenzy, first of all, congratulations! And second of all, allow me to catch you up. Xiaolongbao, otherwise known as soup dumplings, are steamy little Hershey's Kisses—shaped pouches that come from eastern China. Generally (confidential to nitpickers: I say "generally" to indicate that I am generalizing), they have a pork filling in the bottom surmounted by a jelled meat aspic, all bundled up in neat pinwheel-topped packages. When steamed, the aspic melts into broth inside the dumpling, producing a small wonder: a tiny bag of soup! First you must pierce the skin and let the interior steam (but not the soup!) escape, so as to not boil your mouth. Then a quick dip in soy/vinegar (or not) and a few ginger slivers on top. Then down the hatch! It's a hot, salty, meaty, smooth, surprising treat. Xiaolongbao are delicious. You will enjoy eating them. Then, when you are done eating them, PLEASE CALM DOWN.
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