As one of the most popular dishes among oriental foods, there are a vast amount of different varieties of spring rolls. Though the food has evolved, the history of the spring roll is quite diverse. Here is a look into the history of spring rolls from their beginnings through to modern Chinese restaurant menus.
What are Spring Rolls?
First, for those that do not know, a spring roll is a type of food commonly made using thin layers of dough that is filled with vegetables, meat and sometimes noodles. A crunchy texture can be achieved by frying the spring roll, or softer by steaming them. Commonly they are served hot.
Spring Rolls are believed to have originated during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265 to 420 A.D.) in China. It was traditionally made on the first day of spring (hence its name) using a very thin cake that was loaded with vegetables. It was a food eaten in celebration of Springs arrival. This custom was noted in many early poems and is were referred to as “spring dish”.
This spring dish experienced a significant change during China’s Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 A.D.). They began to be made using much more spices, adding ingredients like onions and garlic and served hot. The name “spring dish” faded out and they started becoming known as “five spice dish”. Both the spicier and traditional mild flavourings of spring rolls were popular during these times.
Once again, the “spring dish” and “five spice dish” experienced a big change throughout China’s Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911). It was during this time that spring rolls became known as “biting dish” and were a food thought to ward off evil spirits and prevent disasters from happening. This was when the thin cakes became the thin, tiny rolls that we are familiar with today. Thus, them being known as a spring roll.
Today’s spring rolls are found in many Chinese restaurants as a hot appetizer, and are served with a variety of dipping sauces. This traditional Chinese food is enjoyed by all types of people across the globe. Here on the Gold Coast, Exotic Wok and Grill serve quality, internationally inspired Chinese cuisine, including the delicious spring roll. Offering in house dining as well as Chinese takeaway.