In ancient China travelers along the Silk Road broke their journey by stopping at tea houses. It was discovered that drinking tea helps digestion, so small pieces of food were offered with the tea. The tradition of dim sum or yam cha (drinking tea) began.
The word dim sum is Cantonese and refers to small bite sized dishes that are served in bamboo steamer baskets or on small plates. The Chinese meaning of dim sum is commonly translated to “touch the heart”. These small portions of food can be savory or sweet and prepared steamed, baked or fried. The small size allows the customer to order a great variety of dishes, creating a banquet of different tastes and flavors.