Wonton Dan

Relationship: Im/migrant
Wenzhouness Wanton Soup
Wenzhouness Wanton Soup

I was born and raised in Wenzhou, China. I remember the first house I grew up in was an apartment with a big patio. Episodically, I would hear the ethereal sound "doo, dodoo" from afar and become closer through the patio. Usually, it was late at night, almost my bedtime. But my dad would hear the sound and ask me if I wanted a bowl of wanton soup. I, of course, would say yes. So my dad would go to the patio and shout, "One wanton soup with every thing, please! Coming right down!" And waiting for my dad downstairs was a little restaurant. In Wenzhou, there was a phenomenon that Wanton vendors would push a compact cart with a stove, ingredients, utensils, and a wooden tube to make the sound to attract customers. Since childhood, I thought that's how people eat wonton everywhere - it's a special treat late at night, carried to you with a little cart. I first tried a wanton soup elsewhere in Shanghai, China. The skin of the wanton was so thick that there was barely any meat inside. Since I came to America, I have been more reluctant to have wanton soup just because I know it won't be the taste from my memory. The time and geographical dislocation make me miss home, but at the same time, remind me over and over again that this is not home. It is hard to find a thin-skinned wanton wrapper, not to mention it is much harder to hear that ethereal sound coming by the window ever again.  

Place(s): Wenzhou, China
Year: 2019

– Zoey Cao

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant